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XTbe IRutal Science Series 

Bditbd bt L. H. bailey 



Efie ^ural Sitimtt &ttit8 

Edited bt L. H. Bailbt 

Thu Soil. King, 

The Spratino of Plants. Lodeman, 

Milk and Its Products. Wing. Enlarged and Beviied, 

Thb Fbrtilitt of thb Land. Boberts. 

Thb Prinoiplbs of FRDiT-oRowiNa. Bailey. tOth 

Edition^ Bevised. 
Bush-fruits. Card. Bevised. 
Fertilizers. Voorhees. Betfiaed. 
The Principles of Aorioulture. Bailey. Bevieed. 
Irrigation and Drainage. King* 
The Farmstead. Boberts. 
Rural Wealth and Welfare. EairchUd. 
The Principles of Vbgbtablb-gardening. Bailey. 
Farm Poultry. Watson. Enlarged and Bevised. 
The Fbbding of Animals. Jordan. (Now Rural 

Text-Book Series. Bevised.) 
The Farmer^s Business Handbook. Boberts, 
The Diseases of Animals. Mayo. 
The Horse. Boberts. 
How TO Choose a Farm. Hunt. 
Forage Crops. Voorfiees. 

Bacteria in Relation to Country Life. Lipman, 
The Nursert-book. Bailey. 
Plant-breeding. Bailey and Gilbert. Bevised. 
The Forcing-book. Bailey. 

The Pruning-book. Bailey. (Now Rural Manual Series.) 
Fruit-growing in Arid Regions. Paddock and Whipple, 
Rural Htgienb. Ogden. 
Drt-farming. Widtsoe. 
Law for the American Farmer. Oreen. 
Farm Bots and Girls. McKeever. 
The Training and Breaking of Horses. Sarper, 
Sheep-farming in North America. Craig, 
Cooperation in Agriculture. Powell. 
The Farm Woodlot. Cheyney and Wentlifig, 
Household Insects. Herrick. 
Citrus Fruits. Coit. 
Principles of Rural Credits. Morman. 
Beekeeping. Phillips. 
Subtropical Vegetable-gardening. Bolfs, 
Turf for Golf Courses. Piper and Oakley, 
The Potato. Gilbert. 
Strawberrt-growing. Fletcher. 
Western Live-Stock Management. Potter, 



- BT 






TXtta Ifotft 



* « 

Bt thb MAOMILULN oompant. 

Stt up and electrotyped. Published Januazx, 19x91 

J. 8. Oaihiog Go. ~B«rwlek 4e SmUh Co. 
Norwood, Mftit^ U.B.A. 


Stjoab, which was once a luxury, has become a necessity 
in modem dietaries. The civilized nations have become 
so accustomed to its use as an important food that great 
inconvenience is experienced if it cannot be had or if the 
supply is reduced. This has made sugar-producing plants 
almost as staple as those from which bread is derived. As a 
result, sugar-beets, in the past century, have won an im- 
portant place among the profitable crops of the temperate 
zone. In most of the European countries they have been 
raised extensively, whereas in America their growth has 
been confined to a comparatively few localities. In re- 
cent years, however, the area has been greatly extended, 
and increased interest has been taken in establishing a 
domestic beet^ugar industry. 

Much has been written about sugar-beets in America 
within the last thirty years, but most of this material is 
scattered through nimierous bulletins and reports of ex- 
periment stations and the United States Department of 
Agricultiu'e, and is not easily available. For some time 
a book containing the important facts regarding sugar- 
beet production has been needed. This has become more 
apparent since the beginning of the European war, which 
caused a sugar shortage in western Europe and America. 
In response to this n^ the present volume is prepared. 
It is hoped that it may be useful to farmers who are rais- 


vi Prejface 

ing sugar-beets, to agriculturists of the sugar companies, 
and to students of sugar-beets in agricultural colleges as 
a text. Those who do not find in the volume suflScient 
information for their needs will find references to additional 
material in Appendix A. 

The author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to 
the many individuals who have been helpful in the work 
of preparing the manuscript. He is under special obli- 
gation tO'Prof. George Stewart, Dr. E. G. Titus, Mr. J. W. 
Jones, Dr. G. R. Hill, Jr., Prof. G. B. Hendricks, Dr. 
George Thomas, Dr. W. E. Carroll, Prof. 0. W. Israelsen, 
Mr. D. W. Pittman, Prof. H. R. Hagan, Prof. M. H. 
Greene, Mr. L. A. Moorhouse, Dr. M. C. Merrill, Mr. 
W. K. Winterhalter, Mr. H. Mendelson, Mr. A. M. 
McOmie, Mr. J. A. Brock, Dr. N. Kopeloff, Dr. C. 0. 
Townsend, Mr. Truman G. Palmer, Dr. E. D. Ball, Dr. 
O. E. Baker, and Mr. W. H. Wallace, who have read 
chapters and oflFered valuable suggestions ; to Mrs. F. S. 
Harris, Mr. K. B. Sauls, Miss O. Blanche Condit, and 
Miss Carrie Thomas for assistance in preparing the ma- 
terial for publication and in proof-reading; and to the 
various sugar companies who have furnished photographs, 
statistics, and other valuable material. He wishes to 
make particular mention of the assistance rendered by 
Mr. N. I. Butt, who did much laborious work on the 
literature and helped in collecting statistics and preparing 

F. S. Harris. 

Logan, Utah, 
Oct. 1, 1918. 


Genebax vibw of' the industby 1-5 


Development of the bicet-suoab industry • • ' 6-21 

Early use of sugar 6 

Early history of beets 8 

Discovery of stigar in beets, 9 

First commercial extraction oj sugar, 10 

Assistance from Napoleon, 11 

Decline of the industry, 12 

Revival of the industry, 12 
The industry in the United States .... 16 

Commercial success in the United States, 18 

Later developments, 20 


The suoab-beet plant 22-35 

Botanical group 22 

Habit of growth . . '. 23 

Parts of the plant . 24 

How the plant feeds and grows 26 

The storage of sugar 29 

Factors affecting percentage of sugar .... 31 


viii Contents 

Belatdon of size of beet to sugar-oontent ... 32 

Flowers and seeds 34 


Conditions for growing sugar-beets • . . 36-53 
Climatic conditions • 37 

TempercUure, 37 

Snrdight, 40 

Moisture, 40 

Wind, 43 

The soil 43 

Economic conditions 44 

Competition wiik other crops, 44 

Labor, 45 


Transportation, 49 

Special troubles, 50 

Kind of farmers, 50 

The factory, 52 


Soils 64r-72 

Relation of soil to beet-culture 54 

Origin of soils 56 

Classification of soils 57 

Soil and subsoil 58 

Soil texture 50 

Soil structiu*e 61 

Improving soil tilth 61 

Air in the soil 62 

Soil heat 63 

Contents ix 


Organic matter 63 

Soil moisture 64 

Soil alkali 66 

Add soils 68 

Plant-food in the soil 69 

Soil bacteria 70 

Selecting a sugar-beet soil 71 


Manuring and botations 73--91 

Plant-food requirements of beets 74 

Ways of maintaining soil fertility 75 

How to determine fertilizer needs 76 

Commercial fertilizers for beets 77 

Nitrogen, 78 

Phosphorus, 79 

PoUuHum, 80 

Indirect fertilizers 81 

Home-mixing of fertilizers 82 

Farm manure for sugar-beets . . • • , 82 

Handling farm manure, 84 

Green-manures 85 

Rotations 86 

Reasons for crop rotations, 86 

Principles of good rotations, 88 

Rotations with sugar-beets, 88 


Contracts for raising beets 92-102 

Advantages of contracting 92 

Items included in the contract 93 


T^pcs of contracts ,....,.. 94 

Sample contracts ....... 95 


Preparation of seed-bed and planting . . . 10^116 

Effect of previous crop 103 

Reasons for plowing 104 

Time of plowing 106 

Depth of plowing . . . . • . . • 108 

Final preparation 110 

The seed 112 

Method of planting 114 

The stand 115 


Cultural methods 117-125 

Thinning 117 

PrepcvratUm for thinning, 117 

Blocking and thinning, 118 

Losses from poor thinning, 121 

Hoeing 122 

Cultivating ». . . ; 123 




Irrigation 126 

Beets adapted to irrigation farming, 126 
Sources of irrigaHon water, 127 
Measvrement of water, 128 
Preparing land for irrigation, 129 
MeUiods of irrigating beets, 130 

CorUents xi 

Water requirements cf beets, 131 
Time to apply water, 133 
Sisse qf irrigation, 136 
ReUitUm of irrigation to sisse, shape, and quality cf beets, 137 

Drainage 144 

Reasons for drainage, 144 
Effects of drainage, 145 
Kinds cf drains, 146 
Installing the drainage system, 147 


Harvestino 148-157 

Time of harvest 148 

Digging 151 

Topping 152 

Mechanical harvester 154 

Hauling 155 

Siloing 157 


By-products 158-183 

Sugar-beet tops 158 

Composition of the tops, 159 

Feeding and storing tops, 161 

Soiling beet tops, 163 

Use cf beet silage, 166 
Sugar-beet pulp . . * 168 

Uses cf beet pulp, 169 

Waste sugar-beets and root-tips 176 

Sugar-beet molasses 177 

Waste lime and minor by-products .... 181 

xii Contents 



Pests AND DISEASES 184-204 

Insect pests 184 

Extent of pest injury ^ 184 

Preventive meaauresfor controlling pests, 185 

Blister-beetles, 187 

Army worms, 187 

The common army^worm, 188 

The fall army-worm, 189 

Sugar-beet webworm, 190 

Cutworms, 190 

White grubs, 191 

Wireworms, 192 

Fleorbeeiles and leaf-beetles, 193 

Grasshoppers, 193 

Beetr-roat aphis, 194 

Sugar-beet nematode, 195 

The beet le(xfhapper, 197 
Disease injury 198 

Leaf-spat, 199 

Heart-rot, 200 

iScoft, 201 

fifqf^-nrf, 202 

Beet-rust, 202 

Rhizoctonia, 203 

Sugar-beet mosaic, 203 

Damping-off, 204 


Factors affecting quautt of beets . . . • 205-212 

What are good beets 205 

Conditions producing good beets . • « • . 208 

Contents nii 



Production of suqab-beet se£D 213-230 

Importance of good seed 213 

High genninfttion 214 

Sources of seed 215 

Disadvantages of importing seed 217 

Types of beets 219 

Single-germ seed 220 

Breeding 221 

Chemical test of inothere, 221 

Steps in sdectUm, 222 
Commercial production of seed 223 

Siloing, 223 

Planting mother beets, 225 

Care of seed crop during growth, 226 

Harvesting and threshing, 227 

By-prodvcts, 228 

Yidds and profits, 228 


Coot of PRODUCiNa bsetb 231*249 

Need for low cost 231 

Difficulty of obtaining costs 233 

Cost of growing in various sections .... 234 

Relation of number of acres raised to cost and profit . 237 

Cost based on time 240 

Examples of acr^-cost 247 


Beet raising and coimuNrrr welfare . . . 250-257 

Stability to agriculture 251 

Promotes good farming 252 




Increases crop yields 253 

Educational value 254 

Employment for children 255 

Winter employment 255 

Centralized population 256 

Increases other business 256 

National independence 257 


StJQAR-MAKINO 258-267 

Storing the beets 258 

Washing and weighing . 260 

Slicing and extraction 261 

Purification of the juice 262 

Evaporation. '. . . • . • • • 263 

Graining 264 

The Steffen process 265 


SuGAS-CANS 268-274 

Adaptation 270 

Soils and manuring . . . • • ^ • 271 

Cultural methods ....«•«. 272 

Harvesting . « « 273 

Extraction of sugar 274 



Kinds of sugar and properties 275 

Sugar in nature 277 

Sugar as a food . . 279 

Contenia xv 

Increase in use of sugar 283 

Use in different countries 286 

Source of supply 289 

Future use and siq>ply 291 

Btbuoqeafet 295-311 


amemcan bbet-suqab compaiass and factobies, 

Januaby, 1918 312-319 





vAoma WAom 

I. A good field of sugar-beets Frontispiece 

n. John Taylor 16 

m. E. H.Dyer . . . . . . .18 

IV. Mature beet plant; cross and longitudinal sections 24 

V. Houses for labor; pumping irrigation water . . 46 

VI. Soils for beets . . • . . . .58 

VII. Soib; alfalfa plowed under; plowing ... 66 

Vm. Preparation and cultivation of land . . . 108 

IX. Tillage; a good stand of beets .... 110 

X. Planting; cable machinery; cultivating and 

hoeing 114 

XI. Thinning beets; cultivating 118 

Xn. Hoeing beets; irrigating . . . . . 122 

Xni. Experiment tanks; ditch machine; beets topped 142 

XIV. Beet lifter; topping beets 150 

XV. Topping; silo in field; rack for unloading . 152 

XVI. Beet dumps 154 

XVn. Bins in a beet factory 156 

XVni. Beet dump; sugar factory 158 

XIX. Silo practice 172 

XX. Feeding cows on by-products; feed yards . . 176 

XXI. Sheep feeding; Injury by army-worms; catching 

grasshoppers 180 

XXn. Nematode injury; beet spot 196 

XXIII. Curly-leaf; rot in storage 200 

XXIV. Well-shaped beets; poorly shaped; three types of 

beets .206 


xviu Plates 

WAoan VAcn 
XXV. Pedigreed beets; silos for mother beets; steck- 

linge 220 

XXVI. Good crop of seed .226 

XXVn. Diffusion battery; carbonation and suttur tanks 260 

XXVIII. Filter presses; vacuum pans 262 

XXIX. Centrifugal machines; sugar warehouse . 266 

XXX. Planting sugar-cane; unloading cane . 270 

XXXI. Vig(»ous growth of cane; sugarcane in Louisiana 272 
XXXn. Harvesting cane with hand cutters; cane wagons 

in Cuba .274 









The beet-sugar industry in America has but recently 
passed out of the experimental stage. It was imdertaken 
nearly a century ago by men who had more enthusiasm 
than knowledge concerning the raising of beets and the 
methods of extracting sugar from them. Early attempts 
to establish the industry on the Western Hemisphere were 
not successful, partly because of the lack of scientific 
methods and partly because beet-growing was first tried 
in unfavorable localities. It also required time to train 
farmers to grow beets and experts to make beet-sugar. 
Legislation, also, has been a factor. When regions well 
adapted to beet-culture were chosen, when farmers became 
familiar with methods of raising beets, when methods of 
extracting sugar from the beets were improved, and when 
legislation was favorable, then was the industry able to 
establish itself and to pass beyond precarious infancy. 
This stage being passed, the industry has now entered 
the period of vigorous youth — the time of greatest virility 
and growth. The beet-sugar industry is now firmly es- 
tablii^ed in America ; it is ready to take its place in the 
sisterhood of great American industries. 

B 1 

2 The Svgap'Beel in America 

The key to successful beet-sugar manufacturing is a 
supply of good beets at a reasonable price. The actual 
making of sugar can be conducted about as well in one 
place as in another if the beets are available. The growth 
of the industry^ therefore^ depends on an extension of the 
beet-produdng area and on perfecting the methods of 
growing beets in sections where they are now produced. 

Those persons familiar with the conditions necessary 
to beet production, and those acquainted with American 
geography, are convinced that only a small part of the 
land well adapted to beets is at present planted to the 
crop. Figure 1, which shows the relative number of 
sugar factories in Europe and in the United States, in- 
dicates that in America the area devoted to beets may 
be increased many times before it will reach the limits 
that have been found profitable in Europe. Reference to 
Chapter IV, wherein the conditions for raising beets iore 
considered in detail, will show that many parts of the 
United States are well adapted to the production of sugar- 
beets. Now that the industry is well started, it seems 
probable that it will grow rapidly in the next few years. 

This growth will be fortunate for American agriculture, 
which needs stimulation of more intensive methods. Ex- 
perience has shown that wherever a beet-sugar factory 
has been established in a community, the price of all 
farming land has risen. This has resulted not alone 
because beets themselves make a profitable crop, but 
because raising them promotes better farming and con- 
sequently a higher return to each acre of land. The deep 
plowing and the thorough tillage, so indispensable to beet- 
culture, increase the yield of subsequent crops on the same 

Qmeral Vieio tf tie Indtutrj/ 

4 ThB Sugap-Bed in 

land. Tlie cost of these tillage operations is met by the 
beet crop, the increase in yield of the other crops usually 
coming as a net profit. 

Beets make an excellent crop to fit into the rotation. 
On account of the tillage required, they permit the eradi- 
cation of weeds that persist in other crops ; they furnish, 
through their by-products, a large quantity of stock 
feed; they are deep-rooted, and consequently bring from 
considerable depth plant-food that is later made available 
to shallow-rooted crops; the period when work is re- 
quired by beets fits well with the raising of grain and 
alfalfa ; and, finally, they furnish a cash crop, which should 
be found in every rotation. Because of these conditions, 
beet-raising is a help to the individual farmer. 

The community as a whole is also benefited by the 
beet-sugar industry. Considerable ready money is thereby 
brought into the region and the farmer is enabled to know 
before the crop is planted that he has a sure market at a 
definite price. Thb tends to stabilize all phases of business 
in the community ; it gives a standard market value to 
all land capable of raising beets profitably. The factory 
furnishes work to farm hands who would otherwise be 
idle in winter; boys and girls find employment in the 
beet fields when school is not in session. This employ- 
ment of the people of the commimity makes the industry 
valuable even when direct profits of beet production are 

Perhaps the greatest reason for encouraging the do- 
mestic production of beet^ugar is the greater national 
independence that results from having at home a supply 
of such an important food. In times of peace the ad- 

Oemral View of the Industry 5 

vantage of this condition is not strikingly apparent^ but 
war forces the situation home. 

Within the last century, the world's use of sugar has in- 
creased from about one million tons in a year to twenty 
million, an increase of two thousand per cent. There 
are many reasons for expecting this increase to continue 
until the world's requirement will be several times what it 
now is. At present the United States uses about five 
times as much sugar as it produces from beets. It is 
evident, therefore, that beet-sugar is still only a minor 
factor in supplying the home demand. 

In view of the increasing importance of sugar as a food, 
that great areas of land in the United States are well 
adapted to beets, that only a small percentage of the 
sugar consmned in the country is produced at home, and 
in view of the many benefits of a domestic beet-sugar 
industry, it seems imperative that greater attention be 
given to the sugar-beet in America. 




The beet-sugar industry has grown in a century from 
nothing to its present enormous proportions. It is a 
significant example of the application of science to the 
needs of mankind. With the demand for sugar exceed- 
ing the supply and increasing faster than could be satis- 
fied from known sources, new and better methods of 
securmg sugar were sought. By applying the principles 
of plant-breeding to the sugar-beet — a plant formerly 
having only a low percentage of sugar — the quantity of 
sugar that can be extracted from a ton of beets was 
increased several fold. The same incentive has also led 
to the application of the principles of chemistry and 
physics to the manufacturing of sugar. When the in- 
dustry first began, beets low in sugar were the only kind 
obtainable, and even this little sugar had to be extracted 
by imperfect processes; but as time went on the beets 
were improved and the processes perfected, until at pres- 
ent sugar can be obtained from the beet at a fraction of 
the cost of a himdred years ago. 


The use of sugar as an important food is ponfined to 
modem times ; formerly it was known only as a medicine 


DeveUipmmt of the Beet-Sugaf Industry 7 

sold by aix>thecaries. In ancient times, honey was the 
chief source of sweet. This was supplemented by sweet 
fruits and sirups, but no refined sugar was extracted 
from any source to be used as ordinary food. 

It is not certain whether the first sugar was obtained 
from sugar-cane or from the bamboo, which belongs to 
the same family. Early Greek and Roman writers men- 
tion it as a rare product. Theophrastus, in the third 
century B.C., refers to it as honey which comes from bam^ 
boos, and Pliny tells of sugar in Arabia and India. Very 
little sugar-cane was found in Bengal before the fifth 
centilry a.d., but about this time it was introduced into 
the Tigris Valley and soon after into the Euphrates Val- 
ley. In 627 A.D. it was foimd in Persia and carried west- 
ward. About the middle of the eighth century the Moors 
carried it to Spain, this being its first introduction into 
Europe. It is known to have been raised in China at 
an early date and has been grown there continuously ever 

By the tenth century, suflicient sugar was produced 
in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates to attract 
traders, and it was sometimes used as food in special feasts. 
It was not until the middle of the seventeenth century, 
however, when Queen Elizabeth of England introduced 
it into her household, that sugar could be considered as 
part of the diet. 

SugarH»ne went from Spain to Sicily and Cyprus in 
the thirteenth century. The King of Portugal in the 
fifteenth century sent cuttings from Sicily to Madeira 
and the Canary Islands, from where it went to Brazil 
during the early part of the next century. About the same 

8 The Sugar^Beet in America 

time it also became important in the Island of San Do- 
mingo. By 1518 there were twenty-eight mills on this 
island. It reached Mexico in 1520, Guadalupe in 1644, 
and Martinique in 1650. The first sugar mill in Cuba was 
built in 1547. Sugar-making was brought to Louisiana 
in 1751 by the Jesuit fathers, but after about twenty- 
five years' trial it was abandoned, not to be tried again 
till 1791. Thus with the introduction of sugar into the 
diet of the people of Europe, the colonies of the European 
countries furnished an abundant supply. At that time 
the consumption was very low compared with that of 
the present. 

When sugar first became an article of commerce, the 
high price prohibited its general use. As late as 1482 
it sold for as much as $275 a hundred pounds on the 
London market, although it had been considerably cheaper 
a century before. By the close of the fifteenth century 
the price had fallen to $53 a hundred pounds in London. 
Competition became very keen among the English, 
Dutch, French, and Portuguese traders for the sugar trade 
of Europe in the early part of the eighteenth century. 
Each country was anxious to have its colonies furnish the 
chief supply of sugar, most of which was at that time pro- 
duced by slave labor. 


The first use of beets as a cultivated crop is not known. 
Theophrastus, in the third century B.C., describes two 
varieties of beets grown in Greece — the deep red and the 
white. The barbarians who conquered Rome carried 

DevetopmerU qf the Beet-Sugar Indtutry 9 

beets back and planted them in Bohemia on their return. 
Oliver de Serres, in 1590^ seems to have been the first to 
record the sweet properties of the beet. He said that " the 
juice yielded on boiling is similar to sugar sirup." lie be- 
lieved that alcohol could be made by fermentinc^'ue beet. 
The red beet was introduced into England in^t CT i y bu t the 
white variety was imknown there until 157U. Four varie- 
ties were known by 1782, the small and large red, the 
yellow, and the white. In 1786 Abb€ Commerel 
published a book on the value of beets as feed for 

Discovery cf eugar in beets. 

Although De Serres had suggested the sweet properties 
of beets, he did not obtain pure sugar from them. It was 
left to the German chemist, Andrew S. Marggraf, a mem- 
ber of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, first to obtain 
sugar from the beet. This he accomplished in 1747, but 
it was a half century before this discovery was put to any 
practical use. The methods used by Marggraf in extract- 
ing sugar in the laboratory are described as follows : '' After 
having cut the beets into thin slices, he dried them care- 
fully and reduced them to a powder. On eight ounces of 
beet thus pulverized, he poured six ounces of alcohol recti- 
fied as highly as he could obtain it, and placed the mixture 
over a gentle fire in a sand bath. As soon as the liquid 
came to a boOing pomt he withdrew it from the fire and 
filtered it into a flagon, which he stoppered and left to it- 
self. After some weeks he perceived that it had formed 
crystals, which presented all the physical and chemical 
characters of the crystals of sugar from cane. The alcohol 

10 The Sugar-Bed in America 

which remained contained sugar in solution and also a 
resinous matter which he abstracted by evaporation/' 

First commercial extraction of heeisugar. 

Karl Franz Achard, son of a French refugee in Prussia, 
was the flNt to extract sugar from beets on a commer- 
cial scale. He had been a student of Marggraf, who had 
turned his attention to the beet as a source of sugar. 
After the death of his teacher in 1782, Achard devoted 
himself faithfully to perfecting methods of extracting the 
sugar. The laboratory methods were too expensive to 
be used on a large scale. In 1797, after fifteen years of 
work, he announced his methods, and two years later 
presented them and samples of sugar to the Institute of 
France. His statements brought forth considerable 
ridicule, but the Institute was sufficiently aroused to ap- 
point a conunission of nine leading scientists of France to 
investigate the whole problem of extracting sugar from 
beets. On January 25, 1800, the conunission made its 
report, which, on the whole, was favorable to Achard, 
although it doubted some of his claims. 

In the meantime, the producers of cane-sugar had be- 
come alarmed and feared that some of their profits might 
be lost. It is reported that in 1796 a society in England 
offered Achard $30,000 if he would abandon his work 
and make the world believe his attempts had not been a 
success. Two years later a new offer of % 120,000 was 
made and refused. An attempt was then made to destroy 
interest in beet-sugar through Sir Humphry Davy, the 
celebrated English chemist. He said that while sugar 
could be obtained from beets, it was too soiu* for food. 

Dedelopment of the Beet-Sugar Industry 11 

The early work of Achard was encouraged by financial 
assistance from Frederick the Great, but after his death 
in 1786 the work was somewhat interrupted until his 
successor, Frederick William III, came to the rescue. 
Through the aid of the latter, the first beet-sugar factory 
in the world was built on Cunem Estate, neftr Steinau 
in Silesia, in 1799-1801. In 1802 a factory was built 
near Paris for experimental purposes. These first fac- 
tories experienced many difficidties in purifying the 
sugar. This, together with the low sugar-content of the 
beets, discouraged all but the most enthusiastic. 

Assistance from Napoleon. 

The establishing of the beet-sugar industry on a pay- 
ing basis really came as an incident in the wars of Napo- 
leon. As a measure against England he established in 
1806 a blockade in which any merchandise from England 
and her colonies was not allowed on the continent. This 
cut off the chief soiurce of sugar ; as a result the average 
price from 1807 to 1815 was thirty cents a pound. At 
times it went much higher than this. In 1806 the French 
Government offered a bounty on beet-sugar, but it was 
not until 1811, near Lille, that the first commercial fac- 
tory, in France was established. 

On January 12, 1812, Napoleon issued a decree pro- 
viding that one hundred select students should be sent 
from schools of medicine, pharmacy, and chemistry to 
the six special beet-sugar schools that he had established 
the year before. He also set aside large tracts of land to 
be devoted to beet-raising and compelled the peasant 
farmers to plant sugar-beets. The decrees of Napoleon 

12 The Sugar-Beet in America 

to encourage the beet-sugar industry were so liberal and 
the price of sugar was so high that by 1812 forty factories 
were in operation. These factories handled 98,813 tons 
of beets produced on 16,758 acres and manufactured them 
into 3,300,000 pounds of sugar. This may be called the 
real beginning of the beet-sugar industry. 

Prom France the industry spread rapidly to the other 
countries of Europe, especially to Germany and Russia. 
In Grermany, Achard established a school which was 
attended by students from all parts of Europe. These 
students carried back to their respective countries tedmical 
information which, encouraged by the success of the French 
manufacturers, led to the establishment of many factories. 

Decline of the industry. 

With the downfall of Napoleon in 1815 and the return 
of peace, the ports of Europe were thrown open to the 
cheap sugar from the colonies. As a result^ the newly 
established industry was not able to hold its own. The 
quality of beets was still poor and the processes used in 
the manufacture of sugar were so imperfect that it was 
impossible to compete with cane-sugar produced by 
slave labor. Only one factory in Europe survived the 
reconstruction that followed the overthrow of Napoleon. 
This was the factory of M. Crespel at Arras, France. 

Revival of the industry. 

For some time in France the beet-sugar industry 
fluctuated according to the laws that were passed. In an 
effort to revive beet^sugar production during the period 
from 1822 to 1825, over one hundred new factories were 

Development of the Beet-Sugar Industry 13 

built. The processes of manufacturing were improved 
so greatly that 5 per cent of sugar could be extracted 
instead of 2 per cent, as formerly. 

Researches of Pelouze in 1821 led to better methods of 
breeding, which made progress more rapid. By 1836 
there were 436 factories in operation. This alarmed the 
importers of cane-sugar and led to legislation which was 
unfavorable to beet-sugar producers. This legblation 
caused the abandonment in 1837 and 1838 of 166 factories. 
In 1840 and 1843 attempts were made by the cane-sugar 
interests to have the government buy the beet-sugar fac- 
tories and close them, but this failed. In 1847 colonial 
cane-sugar and beet-sugar were taxed equally, which made 
it di£Scult for the beet-sugar to compete, beoiuse the cane- 
sugar was nearly all produced by cheap slave labor. The 
abolition of slavery in 1848, however, helped the beet- 
sugar industry. FVom 1851 to 1873 the making of beet- 
sugar in France was very spasmodic, since it depended 
almost entirely on the attitude of legislation. 

In Germany, where legislation was more con^tent, 
the industry grew slowly but surely. Considerable atten- 
tion was given by scientists to the improvement both of 
the quality of beets and of the manufacturing processes. 
In 1836 Germany had 122 factories which used 25,346 
tons of beets and produced 1408 tons of sugar. The 
average percentage of sugar extracted that year was 5.5, 
while in 1886 it averaged 12.18 per cent. TTie per capita 
consumption of sugar in Germany was 4.4 pounds in 1836, 
but had risen to 7.14 pounds in 1856, and in 1906 it was 
41.08 pounds. The factory price of sugar in Magdeburg 
fell from 9.4 cents a pound in 1854 to 4.2 cents m 1886. 

The Sugar-Beet in America 





« ' '» 


. ' ,i w 


FiQ. 3. — Comparison of the amount of beet-ousar produced in Oer- 
many, Austrio-Hungaiy, f^anoe, United Statei, Suaidii, and Belsiuin, in 
dUteieiit years. 

Development cf the BeetrSugar Industry 


In 1877 Germany had 286,000 acres of beets, which 
produced 378,000 tons of sugar, while in 1886 the out- 
put of sugar was more than 1,000,000 tons. Germany 
did not equal the sugar production of France until 1878, 
but since that time she has led the world in beet-sugar. 
She produced 2,223,521 tons of sugar m 1906. The aver- 
age percentage extracted that year was 15.69. 

In other coimtries of Europe the beet-sugar industry 
followed rather closely the lead of France and Germany 
(see Fig. 2). At present there are beet-sugar factories in 
all the European coimtries except Norway. 

Ware ^ shows in the following table the relative impor- 
tance of the industry in 1877-78. By this time the 
beet-sugar industry had become thoroughly established: 

Table I. — Number of Suqab Factobiss im Europe, in 
1877-78, WITH THE Total Production and the Per 
Capita Consumption op Sugar in Each Country 


Germany . . 

France . . 

Russia . . • 

Poland . . 

Belgium . . 

Holland . . 

Sweden . . 

Denmark . . 


DOCSD 1877-78 





Afpboxhcatb Con« 


Capita, Kiloo&amb 














^ Ware, L. S., ''The Sugar Beet," p. 40 (1880). 

16 The Sugar-Beet in America 


The first effort to grow sugar-beets in the United 
States was made about 1830 at Ensfield near Philadelphia. 
In 1836 a number of citizens of Philadelphia became in- 
terested in sugar-beet culture and sent James Pedder to 
France to study the business. A company known as 
"The Beet Sugar Society of Philadelphia" was organized 
with James Donaldson, the chief promoter, as president. 
Pedder sent home about 600 pounds of seed to be dis- 
tributed among the farmers for trial. No evidence is 
available that a factory resulted from this effort. 

The first factory was erected at Northampton, Massif 
chusetts, in 1838, by David Lee Child, assisted by Edward 
Church and Maximin Isnard, who had played an impor- 
tant part in establishmg the industry in France and who 
was at this time French vice-consul at Boston. The seed 
was imported from France. It gave a satisfactory yield 
— from thirteen to fifteen tons to the acre — but the 
beets were low in sugar. In 1839, 1300 pounds of sugar 
were produced and several prizes were taken. The in- 
dustry could not be made to pay under the circumstances, 
and the factory never ran after 1840. 

Soon after the settlement of Utah, in 1847, the Mor- 
mon pioneers began to establish different home indusr- 
tries in order to make themselves as industrially inde- 
pendent as possible. Since at this time all manufactured 
goods had to be hauled from the Missouri River to Salt 
Lake City by team, sugar was worth from forty cents to 
one dollar a pound. John Taylor (Plate II), who was 
laboring as a missionary in France, studied the beet-sugar 

Plate II. 
John Taylor, who introduced the beet-fluxar induatry ii 
(Courtesy o( Frank Y. Taylor.) 

* > 9 « 

Development of the Beet-Sugar Industry 17 

industry^ and in 1852 purchased from Faucett, Preston, 
and Company of Liverpool, for $12,500, a complete outfit 
of machinery for making beet-sugar. This arrived at 
New Orleans in April, 1852, from where it was taken on 
another boat to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It took 
fifty-two ox teams four months to haul the machinery 
from Fort Leavenworth to Provo, Utah, where it had 
been decided to erect the factory. Five hundred bushels 
of beet seed came with the machinery. The Deseret 
Manufacturing Company, the corporation that was pro- 
moting the industry, was unable to carry it on because 
of the many unexpected expenses. The machinery was, 
therefore, purchased by the Mormon Church and moved 
to Salt Lake City, where it was installed in an adobe build- 
ing at Sugar House Ward, where additional machinery was 
received in 1853. On account of the difficulty that was 
experienced in getting sugar to crystallize, sirup only 
was made and the project was finally abandoned in 1855. 
In 1864 the Gennett Brothers, Germans living in New 
York, became interested in the beet-sugar industry. One 
of them went to Europe to study the conditions on that 
continent. On his return, 2300 acres of prairie land 
were piurchased at Chatsworth, lUmois, and the Germania 
Beet Sugar Company was organized with a capital of 
$200,000. The mill had a capacity of fifty tons a day, 
but it was able to extract only a small part of the sugar 
from the beets. In 1866, 4000 tons of beets were raised 
on 400 acres. A series of unfavorable years induced the 
company to move the plant, first to Freeport, Illinois, 
and later to Black Hawk, Wisconsin, but it was never a 
success. Some of the machinery was finally taken to 

18 The Sugar-Beet in America 

California. Failure was due in part at least to a lack of 
interest on the part of farmers in raismg beets. 

Two Germans, by the name of Otto and Bonestell, erected 
a plant of ten tons daily capacity at Fond du Lac, Wis- 
consin, in 1868. After two years of partial success, the 
enterprise was abandoned. Otto went to Alvarado, 
California, in 1870 and associated himself with Klineau 
and E. H. Dyer, who the year before had raised 150 acres 
of beets as an experiment. The $125,000 factory which 
they erected produced 250 tons of sugar in 1870, 400 tons 
m 1871, 560 tons in 1872, and 750 tons m 1873. The 
average cost of producing sugar was about ten cents a 
pound. The plant did not pay and later was moved to 
Santa Cruz County. In 1871 the Sacramento Beet 
Sugar Company began the operation of a small plant. It 
made sugar and molasses for several years and was finally 
sold to E. H. Dyer. This was the first plant in the 
coimtry to use the diffusion battery system of extracting 
the juice. 

Other unsuccessful attempts to establish the industry 
were made at Portland, Maine (1896), Edgemoor, Dela- 
ware (1877), Franklin, Massachusetts (1879), and Rio 
Grande, New Jersey (1879). These failures were due to 
various causes: (1) lack of experienced beet-raisers, (2) 
poor quality of beets, (3) imperfect machinery, (4) mis- 
takes in locating factories, and (5) general lack of interest 
m the industry. 

Commercial auccese in the United States. 

The successful commercial production of beet-sugar in 
the United States may be said to date from about 1890. 

Plate III. 

E. H. Dyer, father of the American beet-sugar industry. 

(Courtesy of E. F. Dyer.) 


DevelopmerU of the Beet-Sugar Industry 10 

Previous to this time^ E. H. Dyer (Plate III), after years of 
experimentation and after four complete financial failures 
and reorganizations, succeeded at Alvarado, California, in 
establishing a factory on a paying basis, in 1879. This 
was the first beet-sugar factory that had been made to 
pay in the United States. In 1888, Claus Spreckels built 
at Watsonville, California, a factory which the first year 
made 1000 tons of sugar. Thus, in 1889 there were but 
two beet-sugar factories operating in the United States, 
both in central California. 

About this time the Qxnard Brothers interested them- 
selves in the industry. They went to Europe and made 
a careful study of it there. In 1890, they built a factory 
at Grand Island, Nebraska, and in 1891 one each at 
Norfolk, Nebraska, and at Chino, California. This 
served to arouse interest m the industry over a wider 
section of the country. In the mtermountam region a 
factory was established at Lehi, Utah. 

From this time on, the growth of the industry has been 
constant and at times rapid, stimulated largely by favor- 
able legislation. The Sugar Boimty Act of 1890, on 
which McKinley worked, gave two cents a pound bounty 
on domestic beet-sugar. Thb was to run fifteen years 
(1890-1905), but m 1894 it was repealed and the Wilson 
Act, which was not so favorable to the industry, was 
enacted. "Development was more rapid following the 
passage of the Dingley Act of 1897, according to which 
imported sugars were taxed as follows: refined sugar, 
$1.95 per 100 pounds; 96^ sugar, $1.68 per 100 pounds, 
with a reduction of 3^ cents for each degree below 96 
and an increase of 3^ cents for each degree above 96. 

The Sugar-Beet in America 

During 1899 fourteen new factories were constructed." 
In 1892 there were only a half dozen factories with an 

I 1 



Acfvs beefs hanvskd- % 

Y/e/dspcr acre ^ 

% sofcrr axfracAxf -— 

% su^r . ■ „ .. 1 1. I 

\m\^^ ' 1*6 ' 19D8 ' 1*^0 ■ W'lZ ■ .Wl4 ■ 4?16 

output of 13,000 tons of sugar, but by 1902 there were 
forty-one factories, yielding 2,118,406 tons. 

Development of the Beet-Sugar Industry 21 

LaJter deffidoprrierds. 

Since 1890^ growth of the beet-sugar industry has in the 
mam been regular and constant (Fig. 3). During periods 
when legislation has been favorable it has been more 
rapid than at other times. This has been the history of 
the beet-sugar industry the world over. In 1912, seventy- 
seven factories operated in the United States, and by 1915 
the number had increased only to seventy-nine. This 
slowness in factory building was caused largely by the 
uncertain effect on the industry of reducing the tariff 
on imported cane-sugar. The passage of the Underwood- 
Simmons Tariff Bill reduced the tariff on imported sugar 
25 per cent after March 1, 1914, and provided that all 
the duty should be removed after May 1, 1916. The 
latter^provision was, however, amended before it went 
into effect. 

The retention of the tariff, taken with the effect of the 
European war, greatly stimulated the erection of sugar 
factories in 1916 and 1917; In 1917, fourteen factories, 
with a daily slicing capacity of 11,000 tons of beets, were 
erected in the United States. The high price of sugar 
resulting from the war also made it possible to pay farm- 
ers more for beets. This in turn greatly stimulated the 
raising of beets, — and the acreage of beets rather than 
the number of factories is the real limiting factor deter- 
mining the sugar production in America. 



It is through the remarkable organizing capacity of 
the sugar-beet plant that nature is able to take unusable 
substances and by combining them properly produce the 
useful product, sugar. The whole beet-sugar industry 
rests on giving to this plant the conditions necessary to 
do its work most effectively; then after it has produced 
and stored its precious nectar, to extract and prepare it 
for the use of man. The important agent in the whole 
process is the plant — the greatest of nature's laboratories. 


The sugar-beet belongs to the goosef oot family, or 
Chenopodiaceae. The chief cultivated members of this 
family are beets and spinach. Many weeds belong to 
the family, among which are goosefoot, pigweed, lamb's 
quarter, Russian thistle. 

The species Beta mUgaris includes sugar-beets, mangel 
wurzels, conunon garden beets, and leaf-beets. There is 
a wUd form of the same genus (Beta marUima) which 
grows as a perennial along the coast of southern Europe. 
The cultivated forms of Beta are thought by some to 
have originated from "a variety growing wild on the 
western coast of the Mediterranean and on the Canary 
Islands, and known as Beta vulgaris L., var. maritima Koch. 


The Sugar-Beet Plant 23 

Whether this plant is really distinct, or is itself a variety 
of Beta marUima, is not certain." ^ Those who hold 
that the cultivated forms and the wild coast plant are the 
same species, use the name Beta vulgaris (which is the 
older) for the entire group. Those who prefer to keep 
them botanically separate, use the names B. vulgaris for 
the cultivated plant and B. maritima for the wild Beta. 


The sugar-beet is ordinarily a biennial, storing food in 
the root during the first year, and sending up seed stalks 
the second. In some climates there is a tendency for 
many plants to produce seed the first year, particularly 
if there has been a period of drought or other conditions 
causing a temporary rest in the growth of the plant. The 
plant may also live and produce seed during a number of 
successive years if it is kept alive during the winter. 

Many beet plants do not produce seed even during the 
second year but continue throughout the season to send 
out an abundant growth of foliage without sending up 
root-stalks. This condition is probably due, in part at 
least, to environmental facts, since the percentage of 
beets failing to produce seed varies greatly during differ- 
ent seasons. Some years this lack of fruiting is rather 
serious in fields producing beet seed. 

The Beta maritima, in its native habitat along the 
Mediterranean, completes its cycle of growth in one year. 
•The self-planted seed germinates in the fall and produces 
considerable growth before its activity is reduced by the 

* Peroival, " Agricultural Botany/* p. 352. 

24 The Sugar-Beet in Ameriai 

mild winter. In the spriug growth is resumed, and by 
early autunm the seed is ripe and again ready for planting. 


The enlarged root is the predominating part of the beet 
plant. The first year the stem con^sts of the crown on 

Via. 4. — The migBT-beet baa b very eztemive root iy(t«iii. 

top of the root from which the leaves spring. It b very 
much shortened and scarcely distmguishable from the 
fleshy root. The second year seed-staUcs are sent up two 

Plate IV. — Abone a mature sugar-beet plant two years old, showing 
the method of growth of seed stalks ; belovi, cross and lonsitudinal sectiona 
of Bugar-beeta ; the cells of the dark rings are richer in sugar than those 
of the light ones. 

The Sugar-Beet Plant 25 

to four feet tall. They bear the flowers and seeds and 
most of the leaves. The first year the leaves are large and 
usually erect, although they sometimes form a sort of 
rosette on the ground. This varies with the strain of 
beet and also with the conditions of growth. The weight 
of the leaves is about one-half that of the root. The pro- 
portion of leaves is greater for small^than for large beets. 
The leaves on the seed-stalk the second year are much 
smaller than those growing from the beet crown the first 

The fleshy root (Fig. 4) is an enlarged taproot, thickest 
just below the crown and gradually tapering into a slender 
root which niay extend several feet into the soil. Branch- 
ing from the taproot are numerous secondary roots that 
extend as feeders throughout the soil. These secondary 
roots are clustered in two rows extending down the beet 
usually in a spiral direction, although frequently straight. 
The upper six or eight inches of the old beet are almost 
free from the secondary roots. One examination showed 
the greatest branching between eight and fourteen inches 
in depth. Attached to the secondary roots are number- 
less root-hairs which absorb water and plant-food from 
the soil. 

The beet is made up. of a series of concentric rings of 
alternating lighter and darker color shown in Plate IV. 
These rings are composed of two kinds of parenchyma 
ceHs, the ones with a denser finer structure being richer in 
sugar and dry matter. The larger coarser cells are richer 
in water. For this reason, beets with a larger number of 
small compact cells are richer in sugar than those in which 
the larger water-storage cells predominate. Although 

26 The Sugar-Beet in America 

small di£Ferences in sugar-content cannot be distinguished 
by an anatomical examination^ there is a rather definite 
correlation between structure of the beet and sugar-con- 


The development of the plant from a tiny germ through 
the various stages to maturity is an interesting and 
complex process. When the seed is planted, it absorbs 
moisture and swells. Part of the starch stored in the seed 
is changed into sugar by the action of enzymes, and the 
ceUs composmg the germ enlarge and divide tiU the germ 
becomes a seedling. At first the germ mu^ dep>end en- 
tirely on the food stored in the seed, but a few days after 
germination the rootlets penetrate into the soil and leaves 
appear above ground. The plant is now ready to begin 
gathering and making its own food. 

The feeding of the plant goes on in two distinct pro^ 
cesses : the gathering of soluble salts and water from the 
soil and the taking of carbon from the air through the 
leaves. After these two kinds of raw materials are 
gathered, the plant in the wonderful laboratory of its 
own cells produces all the compounds necessary to its 
life and to the performance of its very complex functions. 

From the soil the plant absorbs various materials that 
are dissolved in the soil solution. The materials like 
nitrogen that are used extensively by the plant are ab- 
sorbed in much larger quantities than such unnecessary 
elements as sodium. These materials must be dissolved 
before they can be taken up by the plant. The root- 
hairs, whidb are minute, single-cell extensions of the root 

The Sugar-Beet Plant 27 

system, reach to all parts of the soil and come in close 
contact with the individual soil particles. (Fig. 5.) 

By a process known as osmosis, water passes from the 
soil through the cell-wall of the root-hairs into the root, 
and finally from cell to cell throughout the plant wherever 
it is needed, or it may pass directly to the leaves where it 
is lost by tran- 
spiration. Each 
day during 
rapid growth, 
tlie plant in 
this way takes 
up and loses 
several tunes 
as much wat^ 
as its weight. 
Water is used 

as a carrier of Fia. S. — Boot-hair extending throuth the soil in 

aU foods withm "^^ ~''*^* ^^ ^''^ '"" p^*^- 

the plant. It also helps in regulating the plant as 
well as entering into many of the compounds of whidi 
it is made up. More than half of the weight of sugiff 
comes from water which is combined chemically with 

The mineral compounds which the plant obtains from 
the soil are : the salts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, 
iron, phosphorus, sulfur, and nitrogen. These, tt^fether 
with hydrogen and oxygen from water and carbon from 
the air, make up the ten elements essential to the life of 
all ordinary plants. If any of these are entirely absent, 
the plant cannot grow. Many other elements are also 

28 The Stigar-Beet in America 

taken up by plants, but while they may be used in various 
plant processes, they are not essential to growth. 

These various soil compounds are also taken up by 
osmosis, each one independent of the other. If the plant- 
cells are low in one of the required substances that are 
present in the soil solution, it passes through the cell- 
wall of the root-hairs and from cell to cell to the place 
where needed. The movement continues as long as the 
compound is used by the plant if the supply in the soil 
is maintained. If this supply becomes depleted, the 
growth of the entire plant is retarded by a shortage of 
this one element. This explains the importance of keep- 
ing the soil well supplied with all the necessary plant- 

The processes taking place in the leaves are even more 
interesting. The leaf is made up of layers of cells of 
various kinds. On the surface of the leaf are tiny open- 
ings called stomata through which air and other gases 
pass freely. These stomata are much more numerous on 
the under side of the leaf. The air, containing carbon- 
dioxid gas, enters the leaf through the stomata and 
drculates between the loose sponge cells, where a trans- 
formation takes place. The cells of the leaf contain 
chlorophyll, or leaf green, which, through the action of 
sunlight, is able to cause a union of carbon dioxid and 
water with the final formation of sugar. By this process 
the greater part of the plant material is made. In this 
laboratory tlie food of man and beast is prepared. If a 
process similar to this did not take place in plants, it 
would be only a short time till practically all animal and 
plant life would disappear. 

The Sugar-Beet Plant 20 

After the sugar is made in the leaves, it is transferred 
from cell to ceU to all parts of the plant, where it is used 
in the fonnation of starch, cellulose, and the other com- 
pounds. Thus the greater part of all plants comes from 
water and the air and only a comparatively small amoimt 
from the soil. An especially large part of the sugar-beet 
is made of air and water. As the leaves grow older, the 
percentage of ash in them increases and the nitrogen de- 
creases. The old practice of stripping part of the leaves 
from the beets is harmful, since it reduces the formation 
of sugar. 


Although the sugar-beet plant begins the manufacture 
of sugar and other compounds ahnost as soon as the first 
leaves are formed, very little material is stored at this 
time, since all the food gathered is needed for growth. 
The plant is adding to itself rapidly and is sending out 
new roots and leaves; hence none of the sugar manu- 
factured in the leaves is available for storage. It goes 
into the production of more leaves and roots and to the 
general growth of the plant. 

After the sugar-beet has produced most of its growth 
and approaches maturity, it stores sugar very rapidly. 
Practically all the sugar manufactured by the leaves dur- 
ing the latter part of the season is stored in the root in 
order that the plant may use it the next year in produc- 
ing se^. The storage is not uniform in the various parts 
of the root. This is ^own in Fig. 6, which was taken from 
analyses reported by Briem.^ This drawing shows that 

^ '* American Sugar Beet Growers' Annual/' 1908, p. 67. 

30 The Sugar-Beet in America 

the beet is richest in sugar slightly above the middle of 
the beet and that the sugar decreases toward the two ends. 
The tip of the root is lower in sugar than any other part 
except the center of the crown. 
The secdon of the beet down through 
the center has appreciably less sugar 
than the section directly oppoate 
toward the outade. The part of 
the beet lowest in sugar has only 
about two-thirds as much as the 

Tile ideal condition would be to 
leave all the beets in the ground 
till completely ripe, which is the 
time when the highest percent^e 
of sugar is stored. This is not 
always practical, however, when a 
large acreage must be harvested. 
Some of the beets must be dug be- 
fore they are entirely ready, wtd 
the d^ging season must be ex- 
■h^!^%i«ributfon"3 tended beyond the best time in 
■ugar in different parts order to harvest all the crop. After 
of the >ugar-beet ^^^^ y^ ,^^ ^^ ^ ^^ y^^^^ 

it may agam be transferred to other parts and used. This 
storage and later transfer of sugar are dependent largely on 
soil and climatic conditions. The storage of a high per- 
centage of sugar in the root wluJe the leaves are com- 
paratively low in sugar is made pos^ble by the fact that 
sucrose diffuses out of the cells with difficulty, whereas 
the glucose and fructose of the leaves move rapidly from 

The Sugar-Beet Plant 31 

cell to cell and are distributed independent of the amount 
of sucrose present. 


The amount of sugar contained in the beet is of the 
highest importance to the manufacturer of beet-sugar. 
The same expense is attached to handling the beets and 
running them through the mill if they contain 10 per cent 
sugar as if they contain 20 per cent. The expense of 
refining and handling the larger quantity of sugar is only 
slightly greater in the latter case, whereas the returns 
would-be almost double. Beets low in sugar cannot be 
handled at a profit ; the life of the industry depends on 
getting roots sufficiently rich in sugar to justify its ex- 

A number of factors modify the amount of sugar pres^ 
ent. Probably the most important of these is the breed- 
ing, or heredity, of the strain. When Marggraf first ex- 
tracted sugar from beets in 1747 the amount of sugar 
contained was low, but a hundred and fifty years of care- 
ful breeding has increased the amoimt by several times. 
One reason why the beet-sugar industry was not able to 
continue after protection was removed following the 
downfall of Napoleon was that strains of beets were not 
available with a sufficiently high sugar-content. Only 
after better varieties were developed in (Jermany was it 
possible to extract sugar from the beet at a profit. 

The commercial strains now on the market differ widely 
in the amoimt of sugar they produce under the same 
climatic and soil conditions. It is necessary to continue 

32 The StLgar-Beet in America 

a rigid selection in order to keep the beets up to as high 
a production of sugar as possible. With no crop are the 
requirements more exacting. 

Climatic conditions afifect very much the amount of 
sugar stored in beets. Seed out of the same bag may one 
year produce beets having but 14 per cent sugar, and 
another year 18 per cent. Some of the factors entering 
into seasonal effects may be controlled; others cannot. 
Moisture, which greatly affects not only the yield but also 
the quality of the beets, may be controlled by irrigation. 
This is discussed more fully in Chapter X. 

Many attempts have been made to point out correla- 
tions between the shape of beet and its sugar-content, 
but these have not been very successful. If there were 
correlations of this kind it would save a great deal of 
chemical work in selecting beets with a high sugar-content. 


The relation between size and percentage of sugar has 
long been a subject of study. Observations have shown 
that often very large beets are low in sugar and the small 
ones high. In order to determine the exact correlation 
between these two factors the Utah Experiment Station ^ 
made tests extending over several years and including 
nearly seven thousand individual beets. The results of 
that test are summarized in Table 11, which shows the 
number of beets of each weight and sugar-content. A 
definite negative correlation is shown, although it is not 

^ Harris, F. S., and Hogenson, J. C, "Some Correlations in 
Sugar-Beets," Genetics, Vol. I, July, 1916, pp. 334-347. 

The Sugar-Beet Phmi 


0> 1-4 O C4 ^ lO *H 

t> C3 p ci »o 






































































HH 00 











Soo ^ 

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d a» 

fH tH O 
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fH f^ 

vH iH 











d ^ '^ 

^ CO iH 

iH d 00 















tH rH vH tH tH iH 











0» S 


iH ^ to Cb CO CI 00 















<D ^ « CO CI O 

*H fH CO CO 







s s s 

•^ CO 


»H «0 00 O 00 CI 
tH rH d CO 








d X CO 


-* '^ <* oa Oft O 

tH f-1 tH d 










o « -* to <o 

CI ^ CO t^ »o t* 












to CO fH 










X ^ 


iH CI iH ^ 












^ CO 

C4 iH 








to t^ 

























CO »H 

- 8 














Id ^: 


8 6 


1H CO 
0> tH 

I i 

S! I 






• • • 

34 The Sugar-Bed in Ameriea 

large. This means that, while there is a tendency of the 
large beets to be low in sugar and the small ones to be 
high, this relation does not always hold. In some dis- 
tricts large beets may have a very satisfactory sugar- 
content, whereas in others this may not be the case. 


Tie sugar-beet produces perfect flowers. The arrange- 
ment of parts is shown in Fig. 7. The stamens are partly 
attached to the perianth rbg. Pollen is readily carried 


from flower to flower by insects, thripa playing an im- 
portant part in cross fertilization. The ovary is par- 
tially imbedded in the flesh of the receptacle and con- 
tains from one to three seeds. The flowers are produced 
in dense clusters along an axis, resulting in the forma- 
tion of seed-baUs containing a number of seeds or genns. 
Much extra work b required by this arrangement, since 

The Sugar-Bed Plant 35 

hand thinniAg is made necessary. If but one germ were 
contained in each seed-ball, the work of thinning would 
be greatly reduced. Attempts have been made to pro- 
duce strains of seed having a single germ, but these have 
not proved to be successful. The seed-ball is hard, similar 
to the shell of a nut, and completely covers the tiny seeds 
it holds. 

In germination the primary root first appears. Very 
soon tiie cotyledons may be seen. The seedling consists 
of a short hypocotyl, two fleshy cotyledons, and a primary 
root from which a few fibrous laterals arise. 




Probably no other common crop should be more 
closely confined to regions adapted to its growth than 
should sugar-beets. This is due in part to the great 
expense required to raise an acre of beets^ and where 
natiu'al conditions are unfavorable^ the returns for this 
expense and labor are small. Another important item to 
be considered is that sugar-beets are not raised by iso- 
lated farmers; there must be a sufficient number of 
beets in a region to justify the erection of a factory. 
Thus, a large amount of capital is tied up in a manufac- 
turing plant. This will be wasted if beets cannot be 
raised successfully. 

In raising a crop like potatoes, adaptation is not so im- 
portant. The individual farmer may raise a few potatoes 
for his own use even though the country is not well adapted 
to potato-growing. If at any time he wishes to raise some 
other crop, he is perfectly free to change and no one is 
injured. With sugar-beets, on the other hand, there 
may be a great loss if the industry is established in a 
region not adapted to it; hence the importance of know- 
ing the conditions contributing to the success of sugar- 
beet production. These conditions may be grouped as: 
(1) climatic conditions, (2) nature of the soil, and (3) 
economic conditions. Of the climatic factors, temper- 


Conditions for Growing Sugar-Beets 37 

ature, sunshine^ moisture, and wind are of greatest con- 



The sugar-beet will grow in most parts of the United 
States and Canada where the ordinary crops of the 
temperate climate thrive ; but the region maturing beets 
of desirable sugar-content, purity, and yield is confined 
to a rather narrow strip across the continent. It lies 
largely in a wedge-shaped area including California, 
Oregon, and Washington on the west, and tapering ir- 
regularly to the east, with Michigan and the states to the 
east as the sharp end of the wedge. 

So far as sugar is concerned, the best sugar-beet regions 
are those with an average temperature of about 70 ^ F. 
during the three summer months — Jime, July, and 
August. The distribution of the heat over the summer 
period as well as the daily variations in temperature 
afiFects the average temperature required. Unlike com, 
beets are not injured by cool nights during the warm part 
of the growing season. A great amount of heat is not 
required when the beets are young; neither will they 
thrive if the weather is cold and damp just after planting. 
This condition retards germination and causes part of 
the seeds to decay in the soil. The young plants that 
emerge are also likely to be attacked by disease, such as 
that caused by the damping-off fungi. With a protracted 
cold spring, the young beets sometimes receive a set-back 
from which they never fully recover. 

Beets should do well in most localities where the sum- 



The Sugaf'Beet in America 



Condiiicms for Growing Sugar-Beets 39 

mer temperature is suitable, provided planting is not 
begun until the soil is warm enough to insure good ger- 
mination and a rapid growth while the plants are young 
and tender. Hot weather during this period is unde- 
sirable, since this condition makes the young plants less 
able to overcome the shock resulting from the disturb- 
ance they receive at thinning time. 

A severe frost just as the plants are coming up is al- 
most fatal, and replanting is usually necessary. At this 
time they are most sensitive to frost. Later, after a few 
leaves have been developed and a number of healthy roots 
sent into the soil, they become much more hardy. In 
the fall of the year the beet can stand rather severe frost 
without injury, very much more than can be endiured by 

Severe freezing in the fall is likely to cause trouble by 
freezing the beets in the groimd, in which case it is very 
difficult and sometimes impossible to harvest them, and 
almost complete loss results. In order to be entirely safe, 
an area raising sugar-beets should have about five months 
in which severe freezing does not occur. Slight frosts 
during this time, particularly in the fall, may do no dam- 
age.; The short season in the cooler parts of America 
prevents the proper ripening of the beets, resulting 
in a low sugar-content and consequently poor milling 

The high temperatures of the southern part of the 
United States have a tendency to cause a vegetative 
growth producmg good yields, but the beets are poor in 
quality. In some regions having a high temperature at 
certain seasons, beets are planted at a time that will en- 

40 The Sugar-Beel in America 

able them to make the greater part of their growth during 
the cooler part of the year. 


Sugar is made by the action of sunlight on the chloro- 
phyll of the beet leaf ; hence the storage of a large amount 
of sugar requires a great deal of light. In northern 
latitudes where days are long, the beet is able to store 
sugar faster than farther south where the summer days 
are shorter. For this reason, the growing period of the 
north does not need to be so long. 

Workers in the United States Department of Agricul- 
ture * as a result of experiments were led to the conclusion 
that the sugar-content of the beet is not dependent on 
direct sunshine. Diffused sunlight from a cloudy sky 
seemed to be practically as good as direct sunshine. Sun- 
shine probably has a sanitary effect, however, since at- 
tacks of diseases are much greater during damp, cloudy 
weather than during periods when the sun is shining 
brightly. The effect of sunlight is so closely related to 
temperature and moisture that it is rather difficult to 
discover just what its effects are. 


Favorable soil moisture conditions are essential to suc- 
cess in beet-raising. A crop costing less to produce may 
be raised where it is too wet or too dry for maximum 
yields without the results being serious, since little is 
involved. With sugar-beets it would not pay to go to 

1 Wiley, H. W., U, S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bur. of Chem. Bui. 
No. 96. 

Conditions for Growing Sugar-Beets 

42 The Sugar-Beet in America 

all the trouble necessary to produce the crop if the yields 
were greatly reduced by unfavorable conditions. 

The use of irrigation water makes possible an easy con- 
trol of soil moisture, and as a result the beet-sugar indus- 
try of America is largely an industry of irrigated districts. 
Michigan is the only important sugar-beet state where 
irrigation is not practiced. The methods of maintaining 
proper moisture relations by the aid of irrigation are 
discussed in a later chapter. 

In non-irrigated regions, the production of sugar- 
beets follows the zone with a favorable distribution of 
rainfall as closely as the zone of favorable temperature. 
The time and manner in which the precipitation is re- 
ceived, as well as the total amoimt, must be considered. 
In a district having heavy soil that packs or crusts, a 
heavy rain at the time the plants are sprouting may cause 
trouble. A region having the greater part of its rain 
during the period when the beet is growing most rapidly 
and ceasing before harvest time is fortunate. Regions 
having a continuously rainy and damp smnmer, however, 
do not raise good beets. 

Small showers at the right time may be beneficial, but 
usually they do not wet down far enough to do any good. 
If the precipitation comes in heavy rains, there may also 
be considerable loss due to run-off from the surface of 
the land. Such storms also have a tendency to pack the 
soil and cause crusting. It is desirable, therefore, in con- 
sidering a region for sugar-beet production, to study the 
nature of the rainfall as well as the total amount. Hail- 
storms are not so injurious to beets as to crops having the 
marketable portion above groimd. 

Conditions for Growing Sugar'Beeta 43 


In many beet-producing sections winds at certain sea- 
sons are rather serious. This is particularly true with 
spring winds that come about the time the seed is planted 
or immediately before or after. Winds coming before the 
seed is planted are likely to dry out the seed-bed so much 
that it is necessary to plant the seed too deep in order to 
find sufficient moistiu'e. Winds about the time of plant- 
ing may blow the seed out of the ground and make the 
stand very irregular. When the young plants are coming 
up, winds often cause injury to the seedling by the cut- 
ting action of shifting sand. Hot winds may also com- 
pletely dry up the young plants even when sufficient water 
is present deeper in the soil. 

The bad effects of winds may be overcome in part by 
a number of methods. Windbreaks, an abundant supply 
of hmnus, plowing, cultivating, keeping the rows at right 
angles to the direction of the wind, and the formation of 
a mulch of small clods at the surface of the land all help. 
Sometimes it is necessary to shift the period of seeding 
in order that the plant will not be in a critical stage at 
the time of regular winds. 


For the production of good sugar-beets, the soil should 
be fertile, deep, and of a texture that is easy to work. 
No particular kind of soil is absolutely necessary. Any 
good soil adapted to the raising of general crops such as 
potatoes, com, and the small grains will also produce 
beets, which are raised on soils of every texture ranging 

44 The Sugar-Beet in America 

from a sand to a clay. A coarse sand is not good because 
it does not hold suflScient water, and it is not usually strong 
in available plant-food. A clay is not the best, since it 
does not furnish the root a medium in which to expand 
readily. It is, moreover, not adapted to the great amount 
of working necessary in beet-raising. A medium loam 
is, on the whole, most satisfactory. It should be deep 
enough to allow an easy penetration of the feeding 

A fuller discussion of the relation of beets to the soil 
b given in Chapter V. 


Competition with other crops. 

Many districts adapted to the culture of beets do not 
produce them because beets cannot compete with other 
crops in these sections. Some of these crops yield greater 
returns to the acre and will, as a result, shut out beets in 
districts where land is limited and the highest returns 
must be secured. Other crops, because they use little 
labor, prevent beets from getting a foothold where labor 
is the limiting factor. 

Beets would thrive in many of the districts that grow 
truck crops near large cities, but greater returns are ob- 
tained from the latter than could be had from beets. 
Likewise, many orchard districts give a return to the 
acre of land with which beets cannot compete. Attempts 
have been made to introduce sugar-beets into the corn- 
belt, but com is so well adapted to these regions that no 
competing crop has been able to displace it. Beets re- 

M Conditions for Growing Sugar-Beets 45 

quire attention at the same time com must be cared for, 
and since com in this section brings more money for the 
labor, sugar-beets will probably not gain much of a foot- 
hold unless economic conditions change. A decided ad- 
vance in the price of sugar or a decline in the price of 
com might change this balance entirely. 

Sugar-beets have not secured a strong foothold in the 
great wheat sections of the country, partly because the 
farmers. can earn more money with less labor by han- 
dling a large acreage of wheat than by handling a few 
acres of beets. The farmer who has been used to raising 
500 or 1000 acres of wheat and doing most of the work 
by machinery is not likely to be satisfied to spend all of 
his time over fifteen or twenty acres of beets, particu- 
larly if he has to do most of the work by hand. 

It takes time for sugar-beets to come into active com- 
petition with long-established crops, even though condi- 
tions are highly favorable to their growth. Farmers have 
to learn how to raise the crop, and they are limited in 
their markets to regions having a sugar factory. This 
means that the industry is usually extended gradually 
and not rapidly ; but where it is well established, sugar- 
beets usually have little difficulty in competing with most 
of the ordinary farm crops. 


More than ten times as much hand labor is required to 
raise an acre of beets as to raise an acre of wheat, over 
five times as much as to raise an acre of com, and more 
than twice as much as to raise an acre of potatoes. The 
horse labor required for beets is over three times that 

46 The Sugar-Beet in America 

for wheat, oats, and barley, and about one and one-half 
times as much as for potatoes. If only four to eight 
acres of beets are raised, the amount hardly justifies 
bringing in expert contract labor; but if the farmer at- 
tempts to do all the work himself, other crops are greatly 
interfered with. If he has children of his own or if he can 
hire school children, he may be able to get along. From 
fifteen to twenty-five acres are necessary in order to make 
it pay to take advantage of contract labor for thinning 
and harvesting. 

New growers should not attempt to raise too many 
acres of beets, since they are not familiar with the re- 
quirements of the crop and great waste may result from 
their inabUity to do work at the proper time. After a 
few years of beet-raising, the farmer learns to adjust the 
acreage to the labor he can command during the busy 
season. On the small irrigated farms in the thickly 
settled regions, the labor question is not so acute as in 
the newer regions that have small population. A survey 
in Utah showed that as the size of farm decreased, the 
percentage of the land raising beets increased. 

Where beets are raised on a large scale, the labor prob- 
lem is solved by hiring foreigners to do the hand work. 
Some of these are permanent farm hands; others may 
have had experience working in beet fields in their native 
land but are doing city work in this country. This class 
of labor may be induced to go to the farms for a few 
months during the busy part of the beet season. The 
most satisfactory way when possible is to keep the hands 
on the farm throughout the year, having other means of 
employment when they are not needed in the beet fields. 

Plate V. — Above, cheap houses of this kind are often construcled to 
;are for foreign labor; cenUr. houses of this kind attrai^t labor which is 
m important item for success in raising sugar-beets ; hdinv, pumping 
iratec for Irrigation. (Courtesy Pacific Sugar Corporation.) 

Conditions for Growing Sugar^BeeU 47 

To get this result, it is necessary^ or at least desirable, 
that small houses be built near the fields. Plate V 
shows desirable houses for this purpose. Provision for 
suitable living conditions for those who must do hard 
manual labor is a greater factor m getting and keeping 
hired labor than is realized by many farmers. Many 
suitable workers could be induced to move to the farms 
to meet the labor situation if more suitable living condi- 
tions and better pay were provided. 

Where gangs of foreign laborers are imported, they are 
much more contented and do better work if they work 
together in colonies rather than as individuals. To 
satisfy this condition requires large acreages. In some 
communities movable houses are used by the contracting 
laborers, the houses being moved from field to field as 
necessary. These houses are very desirable where the 
individual fields in a district are too small to make it 
worth while to build permanent houses. 

The labor question is probably the most difficult gen- 
eral problem with which the sugar-beet growers have to 
contend. It is a problem that must be handled by com- 
munity action or by the sugar companies who are gen- 
erally well prepared to secure and distribute this labor, 
since they can determine through their field men the 
approximate labor situation throughout the territory 
contributing beets to their factory. If the farmers can 
be induced to report their probable labor needs to these 
field men in advance, the proper amoimt of imported 
labor usually can be secured. 

The United States Government is attempting to keep 
in touch with the labor situation in all parts of the country 

48 The Sugar-Beet in America 

in order that the best possible distribution of the laborers 
may be made. In some commmiities where there is in* 
sufficient labor^ farmers bid against one another for the 
labor that is available, resulting in prices out of all pro- 
portion to the service obtained. Such action does not 
improve the labor situation ; it merely raises wages with- 
out increasing the efficiency of the labor. An appeal to 
the sugar companies or the government for additional 
workers might bring the required labor at prices satis- 
factory to both the growers and the workers. 

When labor must be hired, it is much more satisfactory 
to have the work done by contracts based on tonnage 
than merely to contract by the piece or by the acre. 
Time labor, though usually slower than piece contracting, 
results in better work if properly supervised. Since man 
labor constitutes nearly half the total cost of growing 
beets, and since more than two-thirds of this labor comes 
at the time of thinning and harvesting, it is imperative 
that as many labor-saving devices as possible be used. 
Relief at the harvest season seems to be in sight, for a 
number of mechanical toppers are proving successful. 
No practical method has as yet been devised for lessening 
materially the labor of blocking and thinning. Up to 
the present time machines designed to do this work have 
failed to give satisfaction. 


The raising of sugar-beets requires much more capital 
than do most other crops. In the first place, good sugar- 
beet land is usually high-priced. Special planters, culti- 
vators, harvesters, and racks are required in handling the 

CondiHom for Orowing Sugar-Beets 49 

crop. The chief item to consider is the expense of raising 
the crop. It costs more to produce an acre of beets than 
is required to purchase outright several acres of the 
cheaper wheat lands. This money must all be spent be- 
fore any returns are obtained. 

In the older districts where beets are known to do well, 
this item is not so serious, since the banks are willing to 
advance money on the prospect of the crop ; but in dis- 
tricts where the success of beets is uncertain, the amount 
of money required to produce a crop may be a serious 
matter. Under conditions of this kind, it is often neces- 
sary for the sugar company to furnish implements on 
" time ** and to render other financial aid during the grow- 
ing season. 


The transporting of beets is one of the deciding factors 
in determining whether or not the crop can be raised in 
a given district. Because the crop is bulky, there is a 
decided limit to the distance it can be hauled profitably. 
There are many small areas that can produce excellent 
beets, but are not of sufficient size to support a factory 
and are too far from any factory to justify hauling the 
beets. There are also good beet districts that are large 
enough to support a factory, but the whole district is so 
far from a railroad that it would not be practical to 
attempt establishing a factory. It costs about thirty 
cents a ton to haul beets a mile by team ; hence it is 
not practical to have beet fields at great distances from 
dumps. Ordinarily, beets cannot be hauled more than 
three or four miles by team. This depends somewhat 


50 The Sugar^Beet in America 

on the kind of roads and on how busy the farmer is with 
other work at the time beets are to be hauled. 

The whole beet-sugar industry is closely tied up with 
the question of transportation. Each prospective sugar- 
beet area must be considered from this viewpoint as well 
as from its adaptability to the raising of beets. 

Special trovbles. 

A number of special troubles must be kept in mind in 
considering conditions for beet-raising. Among these are 
diseases and insect pests. A number of factories have 
failed because beets in the district have been so greatly 
infested by curly-leaf and other serious troubles. For 
this reason it would not be advisable to invest hun- 
dreds of thousands of dollars in a mill where external con- 
ditions only seemed to be favorable to the industry. It 
is much safer to raise beets for a number of years first 
in order to see whether any of these serious troubles de- 
velop. Hot winds, severe drought at a critical period, 
and many other imfavorable conditions may completely 
outweigh other favorable ones. 

Kind of farmers. 

Successful sugar-beet growing requires good farmers. 
Every operation from the plowing of the land to the de- 
livery of the beets is particular and calls for skill and 
painstaking care. There is no operation that can be 
slighted without reflecting itself in the returns. Many 
farmers fail because they are not willing to look after 
details. They want to apply wheat-growing methods, 
and these methods simply will not succeed with sugar- 

Conditions for Growing Sugar-Beets 51 

beets. The fanner who does not want to bother with the 
crop from the time it is planted imtil it is ready to har- 
vest had better devote himself to extensive crops; he 
certainly cannot make a success in raising beets, — at 
least not luitil he changes his methods. 

The sugar-beet is sensitive to the attention it receives. 
It does not thrive under "horse-back" methods of farm- 
ing. The farmer who would succeed with it must get 
down on his knees and use his fingers, almost fondling each 
plant. If he is not willing to do this, he will not be a 
good beet farmer. 

The people of some communities are not adapted to the 
raising of beets. They are not willing to give the personal 
attention and the work that is required. If their chief 
thought is to do as little work as possible and to make 
their profit by selling the farm instead of tilling it, they 
are not good beet farmers. In order for a commimity 
to be successful at beet-raising, it must have the attitude 
that a farm is a place on which to raise crops and not a 
place that is just held to be sold at the first opportimity. 
For this reason new commimities rarely succeed with 
beets. Usually it is necessary to wait until those on the 
land feel that they are established in a permanent home. 
The period of good beet-farming does not come until 
the days of boom and land speculation have passed. 

The high sugar-content and purity of sugar-beets are 
artificial characters produced by years of special culti- 
vation, selection, and breeding. The quality of the crop 
is, therefore, subject to modification by cultural methods. 
It responds readily to good treatment, and as quickly 
deteriorates under bad. A good farmer will succeed with 

52 The Sugar-Beet in America 

beets, whereas his neighbor who is a poor fanner will 
fail miserably. 

In considering the advisability of establishing a factory 
in a region, considerable attention should be given to the 
kind of farmers who will raise the beets. 

The factory. 

The first consideration in attempting to introduce the 
sugar-beet industry in a district is, of course, a guarantee 
from the farmers that they will grow a sufficient acreage 
of beets to assure a reasonably long run for a factory. 
Many of the factories that have failed would have con- 
tinued had the supply of good beets been large enough. 
Quality of beets is perhaps more important than quantity, 
because if the proper quality can be secured, the prices 
can usually be regulated so as to make it profitable for 
the farmers to produce the necessary quantity. If beets 
testing 12 per cent or more of sugar and with a purity 
coefficient of at least 70 per cent cannot be obtained, the 
success of a factory is doubtful. The price paid by the 
manufactiurers for beets constitutes over two-thirds of 
the total cost of manufacturing beet-sugar ; and the cost 
is relatively much less for good beets than for poor ones. 
Factories that must work beets from which only 220 
pounds of sugar can be extracted from each ton are 
distinctly at a disadvantage when compared with those 
that can extract 300 pounds with practically the same 
expenditure for manufacturing, even if the better beets 
cost considerably more. 

With a given quality of beets, it is very desirable that 
the quantity grown be as great as the economic conditions 

Condituma for Growing Sugar-Beets S3 

will justify. For a good run of an aiverage-sized factory, 
3000 to 5000 acres or more of beets should be grown. It 
has been found that factories with a slicing capacity of 
800 tons daily are materially more efficient in sugar manu- 
facturing than are those handling less than 500 tons daily. 
It is a mistake, however, to build a factory with a large 
daily capacity in a district not capable of furnishing 
beets to supply the daily tonnage for a run lasting in the 
neighborhood of ninety to one hundred days. Since it 
is impossible to determine accurately beforehand just 
what acreage a new region will grow, it is usuaUy better 
to build a medium-sized factory capable of being eiUarged 
than to build a large one that may need to be removed. 

In choosing a location for a factory, one of the first 
considerations is an abimdant supply of pure water. 
Large quantities of alkali salts or other foreign matter 
in the water make the extraction and purification of the 
juices much more difficult than with pure water. Cheap 
fuel must be available as well as a good quality of cheap 
limestone. With much bulky material such as beets, 
coal, and limestone to be moved, transportation costs 
run high unless the lowest possible rates are secured. For 
this reason it is an advantage to locate a factory where 
there is competition from two or more railroads. It is 
also better to locate the factory in a position as nearly in 
the center of the beet-growing area as possible rather than 
to favor a position near a village. The closer the factory is 
to the beet fields, the better is the condition of the beets 
when they reach the factory. 



Successful sugar-beet production^ as well as every other 
phase of agriculture^ is dependent on the intelligent han- 
dling of the soil. All farm profits ultimately go back to the 
land. Live-stock, important as it is, merely furnishes a 
means of marketing what the soil produces. Every effort 
should be made to understand the needs of the soil in 
order that it may be made to yield bounteously and 


Sugar-beets are not so sensitive as to require a special 
kind of soil. They will grow on any good agricultural 
land on which the ordinary field crops thrive. As with 
other crops, however, beets do better on some soils than 
on others. This is reflected much more in the yield than 
in the quality of beets. Wiley,^ after making a rather 
exhaustive study of beets raised on soils in many parts 
of the United States, reports : 

^ Wiley, H. W., U. 8. Dept. of Agr., Bur. of Chem. Sid. No. 96. 
p. 34. 


Sails 55 

" The data show in a general way what has been observed 
before, that the quality of the soil has but little to do with 
sugar content of the beet. It is true that if the soils be 
so very poor that the beet is very much stimted in its 
growth, reaching a weight of only two or three ounces at 
maturity, the poverty of the soil would act in this way to 
increase the percentage of sugar in the beet ; but this is 
only incidental, since any unfavorable condition would 
act in the same way, as, for instance, a deficient rainfall 
or imperfect cultivation. It is quite certain that a very 
rich soil, in the presence of an environment otherwise 
favorable to a large growth, would have the opposite ef- 
fect, for the overgrown beet is prone to have an excess 
of cellular tissue, to become pithy and be less' sweet. In 
this case, also, the effect is largely fortuitous, for it is 
evident that in any condition of over-fertility the beets 
may be grown so close together as to prevent large size, 
and thus their percentage of sugar may be largely con- 

"It is undoubtedly true that the use of certain fer- 
tilizers m definite proportions may tend to mcrease the 
percentage of sugar. This is particularly true of potash 
and phosphoric acid. On the contrary, an abundant 
supply of nitrogenous fertilizer may tend to depress the 
content of sugar. In the latter case the effect is probably 
due to a tendency to increase the growth, while in the 
former case it may be partly due to securing a proper 
ripening of the beet and thus avoiding overgrowth, and 
pardy to actual saccharigenic influences of the fertilizers 
themselves. Whatever the physiological action may be, 
it is evident that neither soil nor fertOizer is the dominant 

56 The Sugaf'Beet in America 

or even important factor affecting the percentage of sugar 
in the beet." 

Even though, as pointed out above, the soil does not 
affect greatly the sugar-content of the beet, it is of the 
highest importance m determining yield; and after aU it 
is yield m which the farmer is most mterested. Thefac- 
tory is also interested in securing a high tonnage of sugar 
to the acre. Every phase of the soil should, therefore, be 
given consideration by the producer of sugar-beets. 


The material of which the soil is made has been de- 
rived largely from the rocks and minerals composiiig the 
crust of the earth ; but in some soils a considerable part 
is made up of vegetative matter from the bodies of dead 
plants. All agricultural soils contain a small quantity 
of organic matter which is intimately mixed with the 
mineral matter. It is difficult to tell in all cases just 
the kind of rock from which a given soil is derived, since 
a great amoimt of weathering and mixing often cause it 
almost to lose its original identity. 

Numerous minerals may be isolated from every soil, 
but in the finer soils the minerals are separated only with 
difficulty on account of the minuteness of the particles. 
Among the most common minerals making up the soil 
are quartz, the feldspars, hornblende, pyroxene, mica, 
chlorite, calcite, dolomite, gypsum, apatite, and the 
zeolites. Each of these brings to the soil some plant-food 
that helps to nourish the crop. Some of them make much 
better soils than others, but all contribute their part. 

Saiis 57 

Few of these minerals occur separately; they are 
usually combined to form the different igneous and sedi- 
mentary rocks^ which^ on decomposing^ form soils. Each 
one has its effect on the resulting soil. Granite, con- 
taining a potash feldspar, gives a soil rich in potash aiid 
also liigh in phosphoric acid, which comes from small 
apatite crystals. Eruptive rocks as a class decompose 
slowly, but usually form highly productive soils. Hard 
limestone dissolves slowly, but the softer varieties go into 
solution readily. Limestone soils, from which much of 
the lime has been leached, form some of the richest soils. 
Many of the better sugar-beet sections of America have 
soil high in lime. Sandstone soils are often poor, but this 
depends on the material cementing the grains together. 
Claystone soils are usually rich in plant-food, but are too 
heavy for the best growth of sugar-beets. Hardpans 
are formed where an excess of alkali accompanies the 

Soils are formed from minerals and rocks by the various 
chemical and physical agencies of rock decay known as 
weathering. The most important of these agencies are: 
(1) heat and cold, (2) water, (3) ice, (4) the atmosphere, 
and (5) plants and animals. Their action is both me- 
chanical and chemical, the mechanical causing the break- 
ing up of the rock into finer fragments, and the chemical 
causing a change in the actual composition of the material. 


Soils may be classified according to their origin as either 
sedentary or transported. Sedentary soils are of two 

58 The StAgaf'Beet in America 

kinds : those that overlie the rock from which they were 
f ormed} and those formed in place largely by the accmnu* 
lation of organic matter^ as in swamps. Transported soils 
vary with the agent used in carrying the materials of which 
they are composed. Those transported by nmning water 
are called alluvial; by ice, glacial; by wind, aeolian; 
and by the ocean, marine. Each of these kinds of soils 
has its own peculiar properties, although the composition 
is dependent largely on the rock from which it is formed. 
Probably more sugar-beets are raised on the alluvial soils 
than on any other group, although good beet sections are 
found on all the groups. 

In addition to classification according to origin, soils 
are sometimes classified by their chemical composition, 
by the native vegetation growing on them, by the crops 
to which they are suited, by the size of particles com- 
posing them, and by a number of other properties. For 
our purpose the classification according to the crop adap- 
tation is probably most interesting. 

(Plates VI and VII) 

For practical purposes, the soil layer is divided into 
the surface soil and subsoil, the subsoil being the part 
below the plowed zone. Soils vary greatly in their general 
make-up; some are but a few inches deep and overlie 
rock, whereas others are himdreds of feet deep and fairly 
uniform throughout. Every gradation between these two 
is found, including clay surface soil with gravelly subsoil 
or gravelly surface with clay below. In arid regions the 



• • < . < 

Saiis 59 

difference between the surface and the subsoil is not great, 
the subsoil being in many cases just as f ertUe and meUow 
as the upper layer. In humid regions, on the other hand, 
the subsoil is often compact and, on account of its lack 
of aeration, seems "dead" when brought to the surface. 
Such soils sometimes require a number of years to be- 
come fertile. Sugar-beets, on accoimt of their deep pene- 
tration of roots and their high air requirement, find their 
best growth only in soils having a subsoil condition that 
is favorable. Any hardpan layer is particularly detri- 


Soils vary greatly in the size of particles composing 
them. Some are made up almost entirely of coarse parti- 
cles; others are composed entirely of fine. Most soils, 
however, contain some fine and some coarse grains, the 
relative number of each determining the texture, which 
cannot be modified by the farmer. The texture of the 
soil has a great influence on the method of tillage as well 
as on a niunber of its properties, such as the water-hold- 
ing capacity, the circulation of air, and the availability 
of plant-food. These all help in determining the kind 
of crop that should be grown. For example, peaches and 
cherries thrive on a soil having a coarse texture ; the small 
grains prefer a "heavier" soil ; sugar-beets and most other 
crops do best on soils of intermediate texture, such as the 

The various sizes of particles composing the soil have 
been classified by the United States Department of 
Agricidture, Bureau of Soils, as follows : 


The Sugar-Beet in America 

Table III. — Numbsb of Soil Pabticlbb in a Qbam of Soil 

OF Diffebent Textubbs 





nx A Qbam of Son* 

1. Fine gravel . . 

2. Coarse sand . . 

3. Medium sand 

4. Fine sand . . . 
6. Very fine sand . 

6. Silt .... . 

7. Clay . . . , 

0.260-0. 100 
Less than 0.006 








A soil composed entirely of particles of a single size is 
never found ; hence the name given, to a soil type depends 
on the relative mixture of these various sizes. The terms 
most commonly used for these mixtures are : (1) coarse 
sand, (2) medium sand, (3) fine sand, (4) sandy loam, (5) 
loam, (6) silt loam, (7^ clay loam, and (8) clay. Farmers, 
speaking in a general way, usually call their soil sand, 
loam, or clay. 

Of the properties of the soil affected by texture, prob- 
ably none is of greater practical importance than the 
water-holding capacity. Moisture is held in thin films 
around the soil particles and the quantity that can be re- 
tained depends largely on the surface area of the particles, 
which, in turn, depends on the size of the particles. This 
is illustrated by the fact that a coarse sand will hold 
scarcely 15 per cent of water, whereas a clay may hold 
45 per cent. 

SaOs 61 


Structure refers to the arrangement of the soil particles, 
which may be wedged tightly together or so arranged that 
there is considerable air space between. The numerous 
sizes of particles present in any soil make possible a great 
difference in structure^ particularly in &ie soils. Sofl 
tilth, which has such great practical importance, is 
determined largely by its structiu^, or the grouping of 
particles. Soil grains packed tightly together form a soil 
c^ poor tilth. When plowed, such a soil breaks up into 
clods instead of falling apart in granules or floccules. A 
loose structm^ gives Imes of weakness extending in every 
direction through the soil. When this condition exists, 
the soil crumbles readily, but when the opposite condition 
is founds much work is necessary to put the soil in good 
condition. The facts that sugar-beets in growing expand 
greatly and that they require considerable air make very 
desirable a soil with a good structure. 


The tilth of a coarse-grained soil cannot be greatly af- 
fected, since it is always fairly good, but a clay requires 
constant care to prevent its becoming puddled. Many 
farmers have learned through experience that by culti- 
vating a clay soil when too wet, they can so injure the tilth 
that several years are required to get it back into good 
condition. Almost anything causing a movement in soil 
may affect its tilth. Among the common factors are: 
(1) tillage, (2) the growth of roots, (3) alternate freezing 

62 The Sugar-Beet in America 

and thawing, (4) alternate wetting and drying, (5) or- 
ganic matter, (6) soluble salts, (7) animal life, and (8) 
storms. The tilth of the soil is the result of a combined 
action of a number of these factors, all of which improve 
it, except certain kinds of storms and certain soluble salts 
like sodium carbonate. 


Oxygen is as necessary for the growth of plants as it is 
for that of animals. It is, therefore, impossible to have a 
fertile soil imless there are spaces through which air can 
circulate. Seeds in germinating, and roots in growing, 
require oxygen which is absorbed while carbon dioxid is 
given off. The decay of organic matter uses oxygen 
and forms carbon dioxid which accumulates in the soil 
air. If conditions in the soil do not favor a free move- 
ment of air, the oxygen supply soon becomes reduced to 
a point at which plant growth is retarded. The aeration 
of the soil is dependent on texture, structure, drainage, 
and a nimiber of other factors. In a coarse sand, air 
moves readily, but in a clay, especially if it is compact, 
the movement is slow. Puddling greatly reduces aeration, 
whereas flocculating the soil particles into groups pro- 
motes the ready movement of air. 

A water-logged soil, on accoimt of the lack of oxygen, 
usually has a low crop-producing power. A free circu- 
lation of air, resulting from placing drains under such a 
soQ, is in part responsible for the increased yields that 
follow drainage. The beneficial nitrifying and nitrogen- 
fixmg bacteria require an abundant supply of oxygen for 

Soils 63 

their best growth; their action is practically discon- 
tmued when the air supply is reduced greatly. 


The temperature of the soil is important because of its 
influence on the germination of seeds and on the growth of 
plants, and also because of its effect on chemical changes 
and bacterial action in the soil. When a soil is cold, life 
in it is dormant and chemical action is reduced. The 
earlier a soil is warmed in spring and the later it is kept 
warm in fall, the longer is the growing season. This is 
very important for sugar-beets, since there is . not time 
during a short season to store large quantities of sugar. 

Soil heat is derived largely from the sun, the rays of 
which are most effective when striking perpendicularly. 
A south slope, therefore, is considerably warmer than one 
facing the north. A sandy soil is also warmer than a 
clay. On account of the high specific heat of water, a 
wet soil is much slower to warm up in spring than a well- 
drained soil. The high evaporation from a wet soil also 
reduces the temperature. Such factors as colors, specific 
heat, and tillage play an important rdle in regulating soil 
temperature. jj 


The chemical, physical, and biological conditions of the 
soil are greatly influenced by organic matter because it 
reacts favorably on the tilth, the water-holding capacity, 
and the temperature of the soil. Through its decay, or- 
ganic matter increases the availability of mineral matter 

64 The Sugar-Beet in America 

and hastens desirable chemical changes in the soil/ It also 
makes possible the work of bacteria by furnishing them 
food. c«^ 

The organic matter of the soil is derived largely from 
the decay of roots, leaves, and stems. If the beet tops 
and crowns are left in the field, a considerable amount of 
organic matter is furnished. In arid regions, where the 
growth of native vegetation is light, the organic content 
of the soil is low and requires special attention. Indeed, 
the getting of a good supply of humus into the soil is one 
of the chief problems in the management of most soils. 
Organic matter is maintained by the addition of farm 
manure and other plant and animal refuse and by the 
raising of crops to be plowed under. The wise sugar-beet 
farmer will use large quantities of stable manure and, in 
his rotation, will arrange to plow under some legiuninous 
crop or the manure resulting from it. On new land, it is 
often necessary to raise clover or alfalfa and turn under a 
crop before beets can be made to thrive. 


No factor. in crop production is more important than 
soil moisture. Every plant and animal requires water 
for its life and growth. Plants may live a considerable 
time without receiving mineral food, but if water is with- 
held they soon wilt and die. The yield of beets in any 
particular year usually is a reflection of the moisture 
conditions during the growing season. Even in hmnid 
regions, the lack of available moisture often is responsible 
for a failure in the beet crop. On more than half of tiie 

SaUs 66 

tillable surface of the earth, the shortage of moisture is 
the chief limiting factor concerned in crop growth, while 
in parts of the humid regions an excess of water in the 
soil prevents the cultivation of vast areas of otherwise 
fertile land. It is apparent, therefore, that soil moisture 
is worthy of the most careful consideration. 

The quantity of moistiu-e in the soil is not so stable as 
the mineral constituents, but it varies from season to 
season and from day to day. More is being added from 
time to time, and losses occur through a nimiber of chan- 
nels. Even if for a short period no water is added or lost, 
a constant movement is going on with a tendency to es- 
tablish an equilibrium which is seldom or never reached. 
Many forces are at work, making it difficult to determine 
all the laws by which soil moisture is influenced. The 
conditions of the moisture depend largely on the quan- 
tity present and the nature of the soil, which is able to 
hold only about a certain amount of moisture. When 
more is added, it percolates rapidly. As the quantity 
decreases, the tenacity with which it is held increases. 
A sandy soil reaches the point of saturation with much less 
water than does a clay. The condition of the moisture, 
therefore, is not always the same with a given percentage, 
but varies with the texture of the soil. The water of 
the soil is usually divided into three classes, determined 
by the percentage present. These are: (1) free, or 
gravitational, (2) capiUary, or film, and (3) hygroscopic 
water. The maintenance in the soil of the proper moisture 
content for the best growth of crops is one of the most 
difficult phases of farming. The practical side of this 
question is discussed more fully in Chapter X. 

66 The Sugar^Beet in America 


In many of the sugar-beet areas of America, a condi- 
tion known as alkali in the soil is met. This condition is 
found in practically all arid regions and results from the 
presence of large quantities of soluble material in the soil, 
which is rendered valueless by these salts if they are 
present in quantities that inhibit crop growth. Many 
soils containing considerable alkali will raise good crops 
until stroiiger concentrations are brought near the sur- 
face by evaporation of large quantities of water. In fact, 
some farmers contend that sugar-beets do better if a small 
amoimt of alkali is present. It is well known that after 
beets get a good start they are able to endure more alkali 
than many other common field crops. Experiments/ 
however, have shown that yoimg beet seedlings are rather 
tender, and if much alkali b present Qear the surface 
when the seed is planted, germmation will be poor. 

In considering a tract of land for sugar-beet production, 
a careful survey of alkali conditions should be made, since 
new land is not likely to show the salt so much as is old, 
particularly when careless methods of irrigation are used. 
In the management of soils containing rather large quan- 
tities of soluble salts, even though toxic limits have not 
been reached, the farmer should know how to prevent 
accumulation at the surface. He should also maJce pro- 
vision to reddm the land when such a step becomes 

1 Hams, F. S. "EfPeot of Alkali Salts in Soils on the Ger- 
mination and Growth of Crops.'' Jour. Agr. Research. VoL V, 
pp. 1-^2 (Got. 4, 1915). 

Plate VII. — Top, an alkali spot, showing a soil condition unfavorable 
to suRar-beetfi ; cenler, a full crop of alfalia being plowed under t« pre- 
pare the land for sugar-beets; usually com or potatoes follows alfalfa 
a year before beets are planted; beUne, plowing beet land, Colorado. 
(Photo L. A. Moorhouae.) 

8(yU8 67 

Any soluble salt present in snffident quantities may be 
considered an alkali. The salts most commonly causing 
injury are sodimn chloride, or common salt ; sodium sul- 
fate, or Glauber's salt; sodium carbonate, or salsoda; 
and magnesiiun sulfate, or epsom salt. In addition 
to these, sodium nitrate and a number of other salts 
cause injury in some districts. Sodium chloride is 
injurious to beets when present in lower concentrar 
tions than any of the other salts mentioned; sodium 
carbonate, or black alkali, injures the soil when present 
in low concentrations by dissolving the organic matter and 
causing a hard crust to form. Beets will grow in rela- 
tively large quantities of the sulfates. 

The injury done to crops by alkali salts results largely 
from the shutting off of water from the plant on account 
of the soil solution's having a greater concentration than 
the plant-cells. By the law of osmosis, water passes 
from the dilute to tlie more concentrated solution. In a 
normal soil the root has a cell-sap with a higher concen- 
tration than the soil solution ; hence water passes from the 
soil into the plant. When the soil solution is made too 
concentrated, water passes out of the roots into the sofl 
and the plant dies. 

The permanent reclamation of alkali lands rests on the 
removal of the excessive salts by drainage. The methods 
of accomplishing this are discussed in Chapter X. Where 
the accumulation of alkali results from the over-irriga- 
tion of higher lands, the remedy is obviously the preven- 
tion of percolating water, which carries soluble salts from 
the higher and concentrates them in lower lands. Any 
practice that reduces evaporation, such as cultivation, 

68 The Sugar-Beei in America 

ctoppingy or the use of f arm manure^ tends to reduce the 
Itceumulation of these salts. 


Soil acidity is not nearly so serious a problem in the 
sugar-beet areas of the country as is alkali, but in some 
districts it occurs. Sugar-beets, in conmion with most 
ordinary crops, require for their best growth an alkaline, 
or basic, reaction of the soil. This is not the condition 
mentioned above as alkali, but refers to the chemical 
reaction. Such important crops as alfalfa can hardly be 
made to grow on an acid soil, since the bacteria that 
fix nitrogen in connection with growth on the roots of 
these plants require a basic reaction. Acid soils are 
most often foimd in hiunid regions where the basic ele- 
ments of the soil minerals have been leached out, leaving 
the acid part behind ; in swamp lands where the decay 
of large quantities of vegetable matter also results in 
an acid condition due to the accumulation of organic 

An acid soil is indicated by the growth of a number 
of plants, among which are common sorrel, sour dock, 
and horsetail, also by the failure of alfalfa and other 1^- 
umes to do well. Blue litmus paper and a number of 
other laboratory tests may be used in determining addity 
and the amount of lime necessary to correct the condition. 
The kind of lime to use depends on conditions ; burned 
lime and groimd limestone both accomplish the result. 
Ground limestone, however, is usually cheaper and, if 
fine enough, is efiFective. 

Sails 69 


The method by which plants secure their food from 
the soil has been known less than a century. From the 
time of the ancient Greeks and Romans down to the 
beginning of the nineteenth century^ investigators sought 
to find some one substance in the soil that was the real 
food of plants. At different times it was thought to be 
fire, water, niter, oil, and many other materials. During 
this period all plant-food was supposed to come from the 
soil ; it was not known that the greater part of it comes 
from the air. 

Of the ten elements required by plants, seven, in ad- 
dition to those obtained from water, come from the soil. 
These are potassiiun, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, 
iron, sulfur, and nitrogen. A number of non-essential 
elements, including sodium, chlorine, and silicon, are also 
taken up by most plants. All crops require the same 
elements for their growth, although they do not use them 
in the same proportion. Sugar-beets and potatoes use 
relatively large quantities of potassiiun, the grain crops 
require considerable phosphorus, while alfalfa and clover 
use more calcium. 

Soils are made up largely of insoluble material of no 
food value to plants. The amoimt of actual plant-food 
in the soil is comparatively small, but since plants do not 
use large quantities of this food, the supply of most of the 
elements is sufficient for crop production. Only a small 
part of the total plant-food of the soil is available during 
any one year. Roots penetrate every part of the surface 
soil, but they can absorb only the material that is in solu* 

70 The Sttgar-'Beet in America 

lion. The carbon dioxid given off by roots assists in 
dissolving the minerals of the soil. 

The makmg available of reserve plant-foods as fast as 
needed by crops is one of the chief problems of soil man- 
agement. This b done: (1) by tillage, which aids the 
weathering agencies in their action on soil particles ; (2) 
by drainage, which allows air to circulate more freely 
through the soil ; (3) by plowing under organic matter, 
which in decaying helps to make the minerals soluble; 
and (4) by numerous other less important means. The 
nitrogen present in the soil is made available by nitrifica- 
tion, which is favored by tillage and by a desirable mois- 
ture-content. Plant-foods that are likely to be scarce are 
discussed in Chapter VI. 


The soil is not a mass of dead matter, but is filled with 
myriads of living organisms, which are constantly trans- 
forming its compounds and renewing its productiveness. 
These organisms work on the bodies of plants and dead 
animals and make the material composing them useful to 
growing plants. All life on the earth is dependent for its 
continuance on these unseen organisms, but for whose 
renewing action the available plant-food would in time 
be consumed, all plant life would then cease, and animals 
would soon follow. 

The most important of these organisms of the soil are 
the bacteria, the existence of which was discovered in 
1695. They are so small that it would take about 25,000 
of them placed side by side to reach an inch. They in- 

Sous 71 

crease very rapidly when conditions are favorable. Many 
of the diseases of plants and animals are caused by bac- 
teria. This does not mean that all are harmful; many 
are decidedly benefidal. 

These germs cause the decay of the coarse organic 
matter of the soil and assist in the formation of the more 
useful humus. They are exceedingly important in con- 
nection with the nitrijBication^ that is^ with the transfor- 
mation of nitrogen from the unavailable form to the 
nitrates^ which are taken up by crops. Certain forms of 
bacteria also assist in fixing the nitrogen of the air and 
in making it into a food for plants. This is done mainly 
in connection with the legume crops^ although some f onns 
fix nitrogen without the aid of legumes. 


As previously stated^ sugar-beets do not absolutely re- 
quire any given kind of soil ; they are successf uUy raised 
on almost every type of soil when other conditions are 
favorable. This does not mean that all soils are equally 
well suited to rabing the crop. Usually it does not pay 
to raise beets on any but well-adapted soils. 

A number of conditions must be strictly avoided. One 
of these is a hardpan near the surface that would inter- 
fere with the deep rooting of the beets. Another condi- 
tion to be avoided is a water-logged soil. Of course 
this can usually be overcome by drainage^ but as a rule 
beets should not be planted imtU after the drain is in 

So far as texture is concerned, a loam b best adapted 

72 The Sugar^Beet in America 

to beets^ for it is easy to work and allows a ready move- 
ment of air. At the same time, it wiU hold sufficient 
moisture to meet the needs of the beet plant. A sand, 
although easy to work, is likely to be lacking in fertility and 
water-holding capacity. A clay, though havmg a high 
water-holding capacity, is likely to be difficult to work 
and is usually not sufficiently well aerated. Depth, 
proper texture, fertility, and desirable water relations de- 
serve careful attention. 



The fact that sugar-beets may often be raised for 
several years on the same land without a decrease in 
yield has led many farmers to believe that the productivity 
of the land can be maintained without either the appli- 
cation of fertilizers or changing the crop. The opposite 
point of view, that beets are very hard on the land, is some- 
times held. Neither of these extremes is true. Where 
sugar-beets are raised continuously, a certain amount of 
food is carried away. Particularly is this the case if 
the tops and crowns are removed, since they contain the 
great part of the mineral salts of the entire plant. An 
unreplenished deposit of money in the bank, no matter 
how large, will in time be exhausted if continually drawn 
on. The plant-foods in the soil may be considered in 
much the same way. 

Fortunately most soils on which sugar-beets are raised 
in America are high in mineral plant-foods ; further, very 
little of this mineral matter is lost if the by-products are 
returned to the land. Nevertheless, maintaining the 
fertility of the soil and thereby insuring a high yield is 
one of the chief problems of sugar-beet production. 



The Sttgaf'Beet in America 


As previously stated, all crops use the same foods, but 
they do not use these foods in ihe same proportion, and as 
a result, the various crops have di£Ferent fertilizer needs. 
Of the seven mineral foods used by crops, all are present 
in most soils in sufficient quantity to meet the needs 
except nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus. In a few 
exceptional soils other minerals are lacking, but they form 
no important need. The following table gives the amount 
of these scarce plant-foods used by sugar-beets in com- 
parison with, other crops : 

Table IV. — Mineral Foods Removed from the Soil bt 





10 tons 

Potatoes . 

6 tons 

Wheat . . 

30 bushels 

Barley . . 

40 bushels 

Oats . . . 

45 bushels 

Com . . 

40 bushels 


hay . . 

1.5 tons 

Red clover 

2.0 tons 


30.0 pounds 
47.0 pounds 
48.0 pounds 
48.0 pounds 
55.0 pounds 
56.0 pounds 

49.0 pounds 
102.0 pounds 


70.0 pounds 
76.5 pounds 

28.8 pounds 
35.7 pounds 

43.1 pounds 
23.0 pounds 

50.9 pounds 
83.4 pounds 


14.0 pounds 
21.5 pounds 

21.1 pounds 
20.7 pounds 
19.4 pounds 
21.0 pounds 

12.3 pounds 
24.9 pounds 

This table shows that sugar-beets use relatively large 
quantities of potash but not so much nitrogen or phos- 
phoric acid. 

Studies of the effect of the various fertilizers on growth 
have shown that excessive nitrogen stimulates leaf growth. 

Manuring and Rotations 75 

Potash is closely associated with photosynthesis in the 
formation of sugar in the leaves^ whereas phosphoric 
acid is required in large quantities in the formation of 
seeds. This may explain in part the high potash re- 
quirements of sugar-beets^ since work must be carried on 
in the leaves in producing sugar. 


Various means may be used in maintaining the pro- 
ductivity of the land. Probably no system is complete 
that does not provide for the return to the land of at least 
a part of the mineral matter removed by the crop. This 
may be accomplished by the use of barnyard manure or 
by the addition of the substances in the form of com- 
mercial fertilizers. The plowing under of green-manure 
may also help in making available elements contained in 
the soil in large quantities^ but in a condition that the 
crop cannot make use of them. In cases in which l^umes 
are used for green-maniu-e, there is also a direct addition 
of plant-food in the shape of nitrogen. Every good sys- 
tem of keeping the soil productive will include a rotation 
so arranged that the maximum returns will be secured 
and that will^ at the same time, maintain the soil in 
good condition. Under most conditions, the practical 
method of maintaining the fertUity of sugar-beet soQ wUl 
combine all the ways mentioned. Farm-yard manure 
will be supplemented by the wise use, in a conmiercial 
form, of elements necessary to balance the needs of the 
crop on any particular soil; and crop rotations will be 
practiced in which some legumes will be plowed under as 

76 The Sugar-Beet in America 

a green-manure. With thb combination, the produc- 
tivity of the soil should not only be kept up but should 
actually be increased. 


In order that there may be no waste of material, it is 
important to know just what are the fertilizer needs of 
the soil. This problem is not so simple as it might at 
first seem to be. Soon after the methods by which 
plants feed and the elements they require from the soil 
were discovered, it was thought that by making a chemical 
analysis of the soil, its fertilizer requirements could be 
determined at once. It soon was found, however, that so 
many factors entered into the problem that this method 
could not be relied on. For eicample, an analysis may 
show a soil to be rich in potassium and at the same time 
this soil may give a marked response to the addition of 
potash fertilizers. This is true for all plant-food ele- 
ments. In some cases, the elements shown by a chemical 
analysis to be lowest in the soil are the ones that give 
least returns when added as fertilizers. Numerous exper- 
iments have shown that an analysis of the soil is useful 
when taken with other tests, but that alone it is not 

Field tests carried over long periods of time have been 
found necessary in making a thorough diagnosis of the 
needs of a soU. These may be supplemented by pot 
tests and by chemical analyses. A complete understand- 
ing of a soil cannot be obtained without a combination 
of field and laboratory tests. When all this information 

Manuring and Rotations 77 

is brought together and carefully studied, a fairly ac- 
curate judgment of the soil requirements may be made. 
The practice of applying any kbid of fertilizer the dealer 
may have for sale, without making a thorough investi- 
gation, cannot be too strongly condenmed. 


In some regions where an abundance of farm manure is 
available, little or no conmiercial fertilizer may be needed 
for beets. There are many sections, however, where the 
supply of manure is insuflScient. In these places com- 
mercial fertilizers will find increased use. The kind of 
fertilizer will of course depend largely on soil conditions. 
From Table IV it is evident that the sugar-beet plant 
uses relatively large quantities of potassium, which means 
that sugar-beet fertilizers should be well supplied with 
this element. After this requirement is satisfied, an 
effort should be made to supply a well-balanced fer- 
tilizer for the average soil. Voorhees ^ shows that sugar- 
beets grown on light soils often require potash, while on 
heavier loamy soils this element is not needed. He brings 
out the fact that fertilizers that produce too rapid or too 
prolonged growth tend to reduce the percentage of sugar. 
Phosphoric acid is one of the most necessary constituents 
to produce a large and rapid leaf growth in the early part 
of the season when the plant is preparing itself for the 
storage of sugar. This fertilizer should, therefore, be 
present in comparatively large quantities in the soluble 
form during the early period of growth. 

» Voorhees, E. B., "Fertilizers," pp. 235-240. 

78 The Sugar-Beet in America 

While applying nitrogen in a f onn to encourage steady 
and continuous growth would result in a large yield, it 
would also produce beets low in sugar. In order to en- 
courage the desirable early growth, nitrogen should be 
supplied largely in the readUy available form in the 
spring before planting; organic, or slow-acting, forms 
should not be applied at that time. 

When beets are raised for stock feed, fertilizing should 
be done in such a way that rapid and continuous growth 
is secured. This is accomplished by large applications of 
nitrogen and phosphoric acid throughout the season, 
especially the former. The liberal use of farm manure 
would be desirable in this connection, especially on heavy 
soils. On light soils all the fertilizer elements could be 
supplied as commercial fertilizers. 

A discussion of the sources of the various fertilizer 
elements follows. 


The most expensive of all the fertilizer elements is 
nitrogen. The supply of this element is also limited* 
Formerly, it was obtained in the form of guano, which is 
manure and decayed bodies of birds, but this supply is 
now practically exhausted. At present the chief source 
is the beds of sodium nitrate, or Chile saltpeter, found 
in Chile. It lies near the surface of the ground in great 
beds, but is so mixed with rock and earth that the leach- 
ing out of the salt is necessary before it is ready for market. 
Nitrogen in the form of sodium nitrate is directly avail- 
able to plants. 

Ammonium sulfate is another important source of 

Manuring and Rotations 79 

nitrogen. In making coal-gas by the distillation of coal, 
a quantity of ammonia is given off. The gas is passed 
through sulfuric acid in which the ammonia b removed 
and ammonium sulfate formed. This salt is about 20 
per cent nitrogen. 

By means of electricity and in other ways^ it is possible 
to combine the nitrogen of the air in such a manner that 
it can be used as a fertilizer. The chief products of these 
processes are calcium nitrate and calcium cyanamid. The 
main diflBculty in the way of using these fertilizers more 
widely is the lack of cheap power which is required in 
their manufacture. 

Many animal products are used for their nitrogen. 
Dried blood, dried flesh, ground fish, tankage, hoof*and- 
hom meal, and wool and hair wastes are all used. The 
availability of nitrogen in these compounds decreases 
about in the order named. The nitrogen of dried blood 
is available at once, whereas in leather and hair it becomes 
available slowly. 

It is probable that the future supply of nitrogen will 
come more and more from the use of legmninous plants 
rather than from the addition to the soil of material from 
the outside. The supply of these materials is diminishing, 
but there is no limit to the use that may be made of these 
nitrogen-gathering crops. 


Fertilizers yielding phosphorus are obtained from both 
organic and mineral sources. Bones in various forms are 
extensively used. Formerly they were used chiefly raw, 
both ground and ungroimd; now most of the bone ia 

80 The Sugar-Beet in America 

steamed or burned to remove fat and nitrogenous ma- 
terials which are used for other piuix)ses. The fine 
grinding of bone makes its phosphorus more readily avail- 
able. Tankage relatively high in bone is used largely for 
its phosphorus; if high in flesh scraps it is valuable for 
its nitrogen. Bone is sometimes treated with sulfuric 
acid to render its phosphorus more avaUable. 

Mineral phosphorus is found in several kinds of rock, 
which usually have the phosphoric acid in combination 
with lime, iron, and aluminum. The presence of the 
last two elements reduces the availability of the phos- 
phorus. Rock phosphates are used in various ways. 
Formerly practically all of the rock was treated with 
sulfiuic acid to form super-phosphate, or acid phosphate 
as it is often called ; but of late years the use of finely 
ground raw rock-phosphate has increased, especially in 
soils rich in organic matter. The acid phosphate is doubt- 
less more inmiediately available than the raw rock, but 
it is also much more expensive. 

In the manufacture of steel from pig-iron, much phos- 
phorus is removed with the basic slag, called Thomas 
slag. It is often ground and used as a fertilizer. 


Most of the potash fertilizers used in the world have in 
the past come from the Stassfurt deposits in Germany. 
Here many minerals rich in potash are found. Some of 
these are ground and put directly on the land ; others are 
leached with water to concentrate them before being 
used. Kainit and silvinit are among the most common 
of these minerals. 

Manuring and Rotations 81 

Wood ashes have for generations been known to be high 
in potash. They are often applied directly to land, but 
are sometimes leached to obtain the potash in a more 
concentrated form. In some countries where sunshme 
is abundant, sea water is evaporated and potassium ob- 
tained by fractional crystallization. During the last 
few years much potash has been obtained from kelp, which 
is harvested in the sea with special boats. This is a 
promising source of potash. 

The mineral alunite is also being used to a considerable 
extent as a source of potash. Rather extensive beds occur 
in Utah and other parts of the West. Other minerals, 
such as orthoclase feldspar, have a rather high potash- 
content, but cheap methods of making it available have 
not yet been developed. 


Many soils, particularly in humid regions, have an acid 
reaction which is not conducive to the best growth of 
most crops. It is necessary to neutralize this acidity be- 
fore sugar-beets will thrive. This is best done by the use 
of some form of lime. Burned lime has been used ex- 
tensively, but it is gradually giving way to finely ground 
limestone which is much easier to handle and much 
cheaper. The effectiveness of limestone depends to a 
great extent on the fineness of grinding. 

Many substances are added to the soil because of their 
stimulating action. Among the most common of these 
are common salt, gypsum, iron sulfate, soot, and man- 
ganese salts. It may be advisable to use some of these 

82 The Sugar^Beet in America 

materials in special cases, but their general use is not 
recommended, since they add no plant-food and their 
temporary benefit may have a later and undesired re- 


Many farmers would rather pay more for fertilizers 
that are already mixed than to take the trouble of mix- 
ing them. This is largely because they do not realize how 
much more they have to pay for the various elements 
when purchased in the commercial brands of fertilizer 
than if obtained as the simple fertilizing materials, such as 
sodium nitrate, acid phosphate, and potassium sulfate. 

FertUizer manufacturers possess no special secrets that 
cannot be learned by any farmer who will study the 
subject a little. It is a poor policy to pay hundreds of 
dollars every year for a fertilizer about which nothing is 
known except what is told by a salesman. Better economy 
would lead the farmer to spend a few dollars buying books 
on the subject, as the information obtained from any 
good book on fertilizers may make possible a saving of 
25 to 50 per cent of the fertilizer bill. Any farmer can, 
with but little expense, prepare a place in which to mix 
fertilizers. Then by purchasing the materials best 
suited to his conditions, he can mix them himself and 
thereby obtain a much more effective fertilizer at the same 


In every beet-producing section an effort should be 
made to utilize fully all farm manure that can be obtained. 

Manuring and Rotations 83 

This is the surest means of preserving soil fertility. Prac* 
tically every farm produces a quantity of this by-product 
of animal husbandry, and a wise use of it is fundamental 
to permanent agriculture. Since the very dawn of history 
the excreta of animals have been used as fertilizer. Al- 
though for a long time little was known of the way in 
which it improved the soU, the increased yield of crops 
was evident. Manure is now known to benefit the soil 
by adding directly a quantity of plant-food, by increas- 
ing the organic matter, and by aiding the work of de- 
sirable organisms. It may not in all cases be a com- 
plete and well-balanced fertilizer for beets in all soils, but 
it can always be recommended with safety. Where sugar- 
beets have been raised for any length of time, farmers 
have learned the great value of manure. Probably no 
other conmion field crop has done more to promote a 
careful use of farm manure. 

The amoujit to apply depends on that available, the 
nature of the soU, and the rotation used. When beets 
are raised in a regular rotation, the manure can usually 
be applied with greater profit to the sugar-beet crop than 
to almost any other crop in the rotation. An applica- 
tion of five to twenty tons to the acre usually gives good 
results ; ten tons is a fair application. The amoimt de- 
pends in part on the kind of manure. Quality is influ- 
enced by the kind of animal producing it and by a number 
of other factors. Manure produced by poultry and sheep 
is concentrated and dry; that produced by cattle and 
horses contains more moisture and coarse material. The 
manure of any kind of animal is influenced by the kind 
of food it eats and by its age and work. Old animals 

84 The StLgarSeet in America 

that do but little work and eat much rich food produce 
the best manure. 

Liquid manure is richer in plant-food elements than 
the solid, but it lacks the organic matter so beneficial to 
most soils. Good husbandry requires the saving of both 
the liquid and the solid manure, which can easily be kept 
together if sufficient bedding material is used to absorb 
the liquid. 

Handling farm mjanure. 

Experience has demonstrated that the best way to 
handle manure is to haul it out and spread it on the 
land while it is fresh. This prevents any serious loss from 
leaching or fermentation, which are the methods by which 
manure deteriorates. When left carelessly exposed to 
the weather for six months, manure loses about half its 
value. This loss can be overcome in a large measure by 
proper storage without expensive equipment. The plant- 
foods contained in manure are readily soluble and but 
little rain is required to dissolve and carry them away. 
If manure is left scattered in the open yard, it is wet 
through by every rain and the greater part of the plant- 
food is washed out before the season is over. If manure 
has to be stored for any length of time, it should be piled so 
that it cannot be leached. This may be done by putting 
it under cover or by making the pile of proper shape. 

Manure is filled with bacteria and fungi which are 
constantly at work. Some of these make the manure 
heat, causing a loss of considerable nitrogen. Since these 
destructive organisms work best in manure that is fairly 
loose and dry, their action is most easily prevented by 

Manuring and Rotaiicns 85 

compacting the manure to exclude air and by keeping it 
moist. Many farmers haul manure to the field and leave 
it standing for months in small piles. This practice 
allows destructive organisms to work rapidly. More- 
over, the leachbg of the piles causes an irregular dis- 
tribution of plant-food in the soil. The idea that the 
manure should not be spread until the farmer is ready to 
plow it under is erroneous. 

Manure must be stored during a part of the year if 
no vacant land is avaUable for spreadmg it. Storage may 
be in special manure-pits, under sheds, or in the open 
yard. Expensive pits probably do not pay, but simple 
devices to assist in handling manure are doubtless good. 
When an open yard is used, the neatest and most sani- 
tary kind of pile, as well as the one allowing least loss, is 
one with vertical sides and with edges slightly higher than 
the middle. The manure that is produced each day 
should be put on the pile and should be kept compact 
and moist. A manure-spreader is a great time-saver 
and makes possible a more even distribution than can be 
made by hand. 


The plowing under of growing plants to increase the 
organic content of the soil has been practiced for gen- 
erations. This practice has been found favorable, par- 
ticularly in preparing new land for sugar-beets. The 
decay of plants helps to make available the mineral foods 
of the soil, and to correct physical defects. Plate VIL 

Legumes make the best green-manure crops, since they 
increase the nitrogen supply by taking this element from 

86 The Sugar^Beet in America 

the air and combining it in such a way that it can be 
used by other plants. The clovers, vetches, cowpeas, soy- 
beans, field peas, and alfalfa are all plowed under as green- 
manures. The small grains are also much used for this 
purpose. A worn-out or poor soil will usually produce a 
fair growth of rye which, when plowed under, puts the 
soil in a condition to raise other crops. For beet land 
under irrigation, probably no crop wiU be better as a 
green-manure than alfalfa which is used in a rotation 
wherein the last crop of alfalfa is plowed under. 


Reasons for crop rotations. 

Some sort of crop rotation has been practiced for 
many centuries. The reasons for this practice were 
probably not at first "understood ; even today all the ef- 
fects of alternate cropping are not known, but so many 
reasons are now evident that no good excuse seems to 
exist for not practicing some kind of rotation on almost 
every farm. As pointed out in Table IV, all crops do not 
require the various foods in exactly the same propor- 
tions: some use more potash or nitrogen; others need 
relatively more phosphorus or lime. If one crop is 
grown continuously on the same land, the available supply 
of scarce elements is reduced and the yield will finally 
decrease; but if crops with different requirements are 
alternated, the food supply of the soil is kept in a more 
balanced condition. Each kind of plant has a differ- 
ent rooting system and manner of growth. If shallow- 
rooted crops are grown continuously, only part of the 

Manuring and RoUxtiona 87 

soil is used; an alternation of deep- and shallow-rooted 
crops overcomes this difficulty. 

The improvement of the soil furnishes one of the chief 
reasons for crop rotation. This improvement is made 
possible by the use of legume crops, which fix nitrogen 
from the air. The nitrogen fixed by these crops can be 
used by others which follow in the rotation, but it would 
be lost practically if legumes were raised continuously. 
The control of plant diseases, insect pests, and weeds is 
made possible by the rotation of crops; indeed, such 
considerations often compel a farmer to change his crops 
when he would not otherwise do so. Economy in the use 
of man-labor, horse-labor, machinery, and irrigation 
water results from the raising of a number of crops on 
the farm. These considerations alone, without any other 
benefits, would be sufficient for practicing rotations. 

Sugar-beets require a great deal of tillage. The land 
must be plowed thoroughly and deeply ; cultivation dur- 
ing the growth of the crop is practiced; and finally at 
harvest time, the land must be stirred to considerable 
depth to get out the beets. The large roots go deeply 
into the soil and promote thorough aeration, and when 
the beets are topped a large quantity of organic matter 
is added to the land from crowns and tops. All these 
practices promote a desirable condition in the soil. It is 
also highly desirable to have part of the results of these 
intensive methods of cultivation reflected in later crops. 
This end is achieved by rotating the crops. The crop 
that follows beets in the rotation is benefited by the tillage 
given to the beet crop, even though beets add no plant- 
food to the soil as do legumes. 

88 The Sugar-Beet in America 

Principlea of good rotations. 

No one rotation is good under all conditions ; soil type, 
climate^ markets, and many other factors must be con- 
sidered when planning a rotation. A number of cardinal 
principles, however, if kept in mind, will be of considerable 

It is first necessary to decide what crops can best be 
grown under the conditions and what area of each crop 
it is best to grow. The foUowing principles should then 
be observed: (l)raiseabout the same acreage of each crop 
every year ; (2) have at least one cash crop ; (3) include 
a legume crop in the rotation; (4) alternate tilled and 
non-tilled crops; (5) alternate deep- and shallow-rooted 
crops; (6) alternate exhaustive and restorative crops; 
(7) include crops that together will make the best use of 
irrigation water, labor, and equipment ; (8) a forage crop 
should be included ; (9) follow the best sequence of crops ; 
and (10) add manure to the right crop in the rotation. 
It is not always possible to conform to all these rules, 
but they may serve as usefid guides. 

Rotations vnih sugar-heets. 

The rotation that should be practiced varies with so 
many conditions that the naming of any particular one 
to include sugar-beets may be misleading. It must be 
remembered, therefore, that no rotation is best for all 
conditions. Some of the factors that influence the rota- 
tion are : (1) kind of soil, (2) the kind of crops that can 
be raised profitably m the region, (3) the proportion of 
the farm that is to be planted to beets, (4) the amount of 
fertilizer available, (5) the number of live-stock kept on 

Manuring and Rotations 89 

the farm, (6) the presence of pests and diseases, (7) the 
amount of labor that is available, and (8) many other 
conditions. > 

In several of the beet-producing areas where beets have 
been raised almost continuously for many years, the 
nematode has made it impossible to continue the crop 
unless a rotation is introduced. In planning a rotation 
for these conditions, it is necessary to eliminate plants 
that will foster this pest. Crops available for this pur- 
pose are listed in Chapter XIII. 

In several districts land has become so high-priced that 
it is impossible to raise at a profit many of the crops that 
would ordinarily be included in rotations with sugar- 
beets. Where a condition of this kind is found, the plan- 
ning of a good rotation becomes a real problem. The 
plant-foods removed by the beet crop may be added in 
commercial fertilizers, but this does not keep out injiu'ious 
diseases and pests, neither does it provide the proper 
balance in the farm business. A short rotation used in 
some of the areas of California having high-priced land 
consists of beans and sugar-beets. 

In the Arkansas Valley of Colorado and western Kan- 
sas, the cucurbit group of crops forms an important part 
of the rotation with sugar-beets. Cantaloupes are the 
principal of these ; cucumbers are also important. These 
crops, with alfalfa and in some cases potatoes, make the 
principal crops to alternate with beets. 

In northern Colorado and in parts of Utah, several 
canning crops, such as peas, beans, and tomatoes, enter 
into the rotation. These crops, taken with alfalfa, pota- 
toes, sugar-beets, and grain, enter into most of the ro- 

90 The Sugar-Beet in America 

tations. Under these conditions, it is a rather oommon 
practice to allow alfalfa to grow until the latter part of 
May, then plow under the crop and after thoroughly 
working down the land, plant potatoes or com. The 
next year beets are planted. The organic matter plowed 
under with the alfalfa adds to the humus supply of the 
soil and enriches it in nitrogen. 

A farmer having eighty acres of land and wishing to 
raise twenty acres of beets and having as other possible 
crops, alfalfa, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, beans, and the 
small grains, might arrange his crop in a rotation some- 
thing like this : alfalfa, four years ; followed by potatoes, 
com, or tomatoes, one year; beets, one year; peas or 
beans, one year ; beets again, one year ; grain as a nurse 
crop with alfalfa, one year. This would give an eight 
years' rotation with the following acreage each : alfalfa, 
forty acres; com, potatoes, or tomatoes, ten acres ; beets, 
twenty acres ; peas or beans, ten acres ; and wheat, oats, 
or barley, ten acres. 

A variation of this rotation would be to put the two 
beet crops together and let the peas or beans follow ; or 
if it was desired to have as large an acreage of beets as 
possible, the peas and beans could be eliminated and the 
beets raised three years continuously if well manured, 
giving a total of thirty acres of beets. If the farm were 
small, the same general arrangement could be main- 
tained, only it is probable that the relative area planted 
to beets would be larger. The rotation could readily 
be extended or shortened a year or two by increasing or 
decreasing the length of time the land was in alfalfa. 

Where alfalfa does not thrive, the same general plan 

Manuring and Rotations 91 

could be carried out with some other sod crop> such as 
clover or grass. lu a rotation of this kind the use of 
manure is usually most effective if applied just previous 
to the beet crop. In plowing up alfalfa, it is usually bet- 
ter to plant the land to some crop such as com or pota- 
toes for a year before planting beets because of the in- 
terfering action of the coarse alfalfa crowns. Clover and 
grass land may often be planted to sugar-beets at once, 
especially if fall-plowed. 



It seems desirable both for the sugar company and for 
the farmer to have a contract on the raising of beets signed 
before the crop is planted. The farmer would have no 
market for the crop of beets if the sugar company did not 
buy them. He might feed a few to stock, but on the 
ordinary beet farm only a comparatively small number 
could be used in this way. He should be sure, therefore, 
before planting the crop, that the sugar company will 
take it ; otherwise, he runs the risk of a heavy loss. Like- 
wise, the sugar company needs to know early in the sea- 
son the approximate tonnage of beets that it will have to 
slice in order that necessary equipment and supplies may 
be secured. These conditions have led to the imiversal 
practice of contracting in advance all beets that are raised 
for the factory. 


Farming is one of the most uncertain of all businesses. 
This is partly because of the irregularities in prices. One 
year potatoes or hogs will be high and the farmer thinks 
he should produce more of these commodities ; but by the 
time he has a large number of potatoes or hogs to sell, the 


Contracts for Raising Beets 93 

price has gone so low that he makes nothing. The same 
condition is repeated to an extent with most products of 
the farm that are marketed in the usual way. 

The farmer should have some crop that he can depend 
on, with the selling price known at the beginning of the 
season. This condition is found in contracted crops like 
sugar-beets. They may not give such high returns every 
year as some other crops, but the fact that a known price 
can be depended on tends to stabilize the entire farm 
business. With crops that are contracted, the farmer can 
depend on getting his money soon after harvest. Prob- 
ably all crops should not be contracted in advance, but a 
desirable arrangement is to have some contracted crop 
raised in connection with others that are marketed In the 
usual way. 


The contracts used by diflFerent sugar companies vary 
greatly in their content. Some go into considerable de- 
tail and specify every point ; others cover only the more 
important questions. Items included in some contracts 
for raising beets are the following : amount of seed to be 
planted to the acre, price of seed, price of seeding, price 
of beets, provision for the supervision of growmg by the 
factory agriculturist, specific directions regarding cul- 
tural methods, time of digging, methods of topping, 
method of weighing, method of taking tare, standards 
for condition and composition of the beets, time of pay- 
ment, provision for furnishing labor, and a numb^ of 
other points. 


94 The Sugar-Beet in America 

No single contract includes everything. In one region 
one item is important and is mentioned ; in another region 
this item may never cause disagreement and would, 
therefore, probably not need to be mentioned. 


Most beet contracts are similar in their wording and 
in the points they include but vary in such details as the 
price paid for beets, the time of performing the different 
kinds of work, and rates for sliding scales, and profit 
sharing. The flat rate contract, wherein the farmer re- 
ceives a definite price for a ton of beets regardless of 
their sugar-content or the price, of sugar, is popular in 
many districts because of its simplicity and because no 
laboratory tests and complex systems of accounting are 

The flat rate contract, however, is not likely to be so 
fair to all concerned as either the sliding scale, based on 
sugar-content of beets, or the profit-sharing plan, based 
on the price of sugar or the net profits from the manu- 
facturing of it. Although these systems of setting the 
price of beets are rather difficult to handle, they make it 
possible for the sugar company to pay more on the aver- 
age for beets, because the farmer takes part of the risk. 
Why should not both parties share the hazards of the 
business and also share in its profits? 

Most companies also have a labor contract by the 
provisions of which they assist the farmer to secure the 
hand labor required in thinning, hoeing, and digging. 
The sugar company is able to get in touch with this 

Contracts for Raising Beets 05 

labor much easier than the individual fanner and it, 
therefore, maintains a labor department whose duty it is 
to assist the farmer to get help when he needs it. 

Often contracts call for some special bonus based on the 
total quantity of beets in the district or some other con- 
dition that will boost the industry. These are usually 
local and, therefore, call for no particular discussion. 


The following contract gives a flat rate for beets, but 

allows the fanner to share the benefits of a rise in price 

of sugar : 

No. . . 

Aores . . 

Sugar Company 




THIS AGREEMENT, in dupHcate, this .. day of 191 , 
by and between .... SUGAR COMPANY, a . . . . 
Corporation, hereinafter called the Sug^ar Company, and . . . 

of , County of .... , 

. . . , hereinafter called the Grower. 

WITNESSETH : The Grower agrees to grow in the year of 
1918, from seed to be supplied by the Sugar Company . . . 
. . . acres of sugar-beets, and to deliver and sell the entire crop 
therefrom to the Sugar Company, and the latter agrees to buy and 
pay for the same, upon all and singular the terms and conditions 
hereinafter set forth, to-wit : 

1. The Grower will prepare and cultivate the said land and 
harvest the beets grown thereon in a husbandlike manner, and 
deliver all beets witii the tops closely out off at the base of the 

96 The Sugar-Beet in America 

bottom leaf, and will use reasonable effort to protect the same 
from frost and sun. The Sugar Company wiU furnish the seed 
at 15 cents per pound to the Grower, and plant the same, when 
80 requested, at the rate of 65 cents per acre. 

2. Delivery of beets shall be made as follows: Until and 
including October 15th, only as required by the Sugar Company ; 
and after October 15th, the Grower shall deliver without further 
notification all unharvested beets, the Sugar Company reserving 
the right to reject beets containing less than 12 per cent Sugar. 
The Sugar Company, at its option, may accept or reject any 
beets not delivered on or before November 30th. 

3. All such beets to be delivered at the expense of the Grower 
in a manner and condition satisfactory to the Sugar Company, 
in the sheds or on oars at the .... factory, or at the re- 
ceiving station at In case of no care, the 

Grower agrees to unload in piles as directed by the Sugar Com- 
pany and shall receive ten cents per ton for such piling. 

4. The Sugar Company shall not be bound to accept diseased, 
frozen, damaged, and improperly topped beets,- and beets which 
do not otherwise meet requirements hereof. 

5. The weight of dirt delivered with beets shall be deducted in 
the customary manner, and such deductions shall be conclusive. 

6. The Sugar Company, on the fifteenth day of each month, 
will pay $9.00 per ton for aU beets delivered and received during 
the preceding calendar month in accordance with the terms, 
specifications and requirements of this contract, that shall test 
over 15 per cent in sugar content. In addition to the aforemen- 
tioned payment, the Sugar Company will pay the Grower his 
proportion of one-half the increase in the price of sugar, if any, 
above $7.45 per cwt.. Seaboard Refining point, based on the 
quantity of sugar sold at such increased basic price. The latter 
payment to be computed and made when ail the sugar manufac- 
tured from the beet crop of 1918 has been sold. 

7. The Growers shall have the privilege of selecting, at their 
expense, a man of reliable character, satisfactory to The Sugar 
Company, to check the tares and weights of the beets grown 
under tUs contract, at the receiving stations where such beets 
may be delivered. 

8. The Sugar Company, at its pleasure, during the growing, 
harvesting and delivery of the beets, shijl have the privilege 
and sluiH be accorded the opportunity, by the Grower, of sam- 

Contracts for Raising Beets 97 

pling the beets, in order to asoertain the qu&lity thereof, by polar- 
ization and analysis. It is agreed that the polarization and analy- 
sis by the Sugar Company shall be accepted as oonolusiye. 

9. This agreement shall bind both the Grower and his legal 
representatives, and the Sugar Company and its successors, and 
shall not be transferable by the Grower without the written con- 
sent of the Sugar Company, its successors and assigns. 



Witness: Agent. 

P. O. Address 

The following contract provides for a sliding scale of 
prices based on the sugar-content of the beets. 






Sugar Company 


1. THE GROWER agrees to prepare the land for, plant, 
block, thin, cultivate, irrigate, harvest, and deliver during the 

season 191 , in compliance with the directions of 

SUGAR COMPANY, hereinafter caUed THE COMPANY, as 
may be given from time to time, acres of sugar- 
beets on the following described lands, to-wit : 

quarter-section, Township, Range, 

98 The Sugar^Beet in America 

County, (State) ; but in no event shall 

THE COMPANY be held liable in damae^es for any failure or 
partial failure of crop or any injury or damage to beets. 

2. That the seed used shall be only that furnished by THE 
COMPANY, for which the grower shall pay ten cents (10^) per 
pound, and twelve (12) i>ounds per acre shall be planted, the 
same to be paid for out of the first beets delivered. Seed-bed 
must be approved by the duly authorized agents or field men of 
THE COMPANY, before the seed is planted. 

3. THE GROWER agrees that all beets grown by him will 
be harvested and delivered to THE COMPANY as directed, at 
the factory, or in cars at designated receiving stations of THE 
COMPANY, properly topped at base of bottom leaf, and that 
knives will not be used for lifting beets ; but hooks may be used, 
provided they are properly driven into the top of the crown of the 
beet only. THE GROWER further agrees that all beets grown 
and delivered by him shall be free from dirt, stones, trash, and 
foreign substance liable to interfere with the work at the factory, 
and shaU be subject to proper deductions for tare, and that he will 
protect the beets from sun or frost after removal from the ground. 
THE COMPANY has the option of rejecting any diseased, 
frozen or damaged beets, beets of less than twelve per cent (12 %) 
sugar or less than eighty per cent (80%) purity, or beets that are 
not suitable for the manufacture of sugar. It being agreed and 
understood that THE COMPANY shall not be obliged to re- 
ceive any beets prior to October 8th containing less than fifteen 
per cent (15%) sugar. It also being understood that THE 
COMPANY will commence receiving the crop as soon as the 
beets are thoroughly matured. 

4. In the event that any portion of the beets grown under this 
contract (except that i>ortion of the crop which is to be siloed as 
herein provided) shall not by the 8th day of October of said year 
be ordered delivered by THE COMPANY, then in such case it 
shall be the duty of THE GROWER to promptly commence and 
proceed with the harvesting and delivery of such beets as come 
within the contract requirements after the said 8th day of October 
without further notice from THE COMPANY, and to fully 
complete delivery of all of said beets on or before the first day of 
December of said year . 

5. THE GROWER agrees to silo, if so directed in writing by 
THE COMPANY prior to harvest, any portion of the tonnage 

Contracts for Raising Beets 99 

produced on the above oontracted acreage not to exceed twenty- 
five per cent (25%) of the entire crop grown hereunder. 

6. Beets delivered and accepted will be paid for by THE 
COMPANY, as follows : 

$8,375 per ton for beets testing not less than 12 per cent 

sugar and under 14 per cent 
$8.50 per ton for beets testing not less than 14 per cen 

sug^ar and under 14.5 per cen 
$8,625 per ton for beets testing not less than 14.5 per cen 

sugar and under 15 per cent 
$8.75 per ton for beets testing not less than 15 per cen 

sugar and under 15.5 per cen 
$8,875 per ton for beets testing not less than 15.5 per cen 

sugar and under 16 per cent 
$9.00 per ton for beets, testing not less than 16 per cen 

sugar and under 16.5 per cen 
$9,125 per ton for beets testing not less than 16.5 per cen 

sugar and under 17 per cent 
$9.25 per ton for beets testing not less than 17 per cen 

sugar and under 17.5 per cen 
$9,375 per ton for beets testing not less than 17.5 per cen 

sugar and under 18 per cent 
$9.50 per ton for beets testing not less than 18 per cen 

sugar and under 18.5 per cen 
$9,625 per ton for beets testing not less than 18.5 per cen 

sugar and under 19 per cent 
$9.75 per ton for beets testing not less than 19 per cen 

sugar and under 19.5 per cen 

And twelve and one-half cents (12}f() per ton additional for 
each one-half per cent above 19.5 per cent. 

For idl beets siloed one dollar ($1.00) per ton extra will be paid. 
It being distinctly understood, however, that none of such riloed 
beets shall be delivered until THE COMPANY sends written 
instructions to THE GROWER to make delivery of '* siloed 
beets" ; also that all of said siloed beets shall be ordered and de- 
livered prior to January 31st. 

Payment to be made the 15th of each month for beets. de- 
livered and received during the previous calendar month. * - \ 

7. THE GROWER shall have the privilege of selecting, .ali; 
his expense, a man of reliable character, satisfactory to THE 

100 The Sugar'Beet in America 

COMPANY, to oheok the tares and weig^hts of the beets grown 
under this contract, at the receiving stations where such beets 
may be delivered, and to check in the tareroom laboratory the 
polarization of his beets. 

8. It is further agreed in the event of a shortage of cars after 
October 8th, causing serious delay to THE GROWER, said 
GROWER shall be allowed to fork his beets into piles, providing 
he piles them eight (8) feet high, under the direction of THE 
COMPANY, at the receiving stations where large elevated dumps 
are established; and no loose dirt shall be removed from the 
wagon box until after having been weighed back. 

9. To ascertain the quality of said beets, THE COMPANY 
shall have the privilege at various times during the growing and 
harvesting season of causing the beets to be sampled and polar- 

10. THE GROWER agrees not to assign this contract with- 
out written consent of THE COMPANY. 

The Silo clause of this GROWER 

contract will not be enforced . . SUGAR COMPANY 
for the year 1918 : By 

(Place) 191 . 

The following is a contract between the sugar company 
and laborers it secures for the farmers. 



No Street, City of , and The 

Sugar Company of 

That the said laborer and associates agree to take 

care of acres of sugar-beets; for certain farmers 

who have contracted with The Sugar Company to grow beets ; 
the labor to consist of blocking and thinning, once hoeing, and 
pulling, and topping. Sufficient number of men are to be fur- 
nished to do the work in a careful and efficient manner that shall 
b^ satisfactory to the farmer. 
:• •: : The Sugar Company agrees that the farmer will make settle- 
* -^OL^nt with the laborers when each part of the work is done, as 
' follows: 

Contracts for Raising Beets 101 

$12.00 per acre when the thinning and hoeing is completed. 

$10.00 per acre when the pulling and topping is done. 

It is also agreed that The Sugar Company is to furnish for the 
farmer a comfortable home in which the laborer is to live, and 
transportation from his present city to the house in which he is to 

As a guarantee of the performance of the above contract it is 
agreed that The Sugar Company is to retain for the farmer two 
dollars per acre from the first settlement until the work is com- 
pleted in the fall. 

It is further agreed that on arrival at the place of labor, a con- 
tract will be entered into between the laborer and the farmer 
whose beets he is to care for, which shall supersede and cancel 
this agreement but will describe more specifically the work to be 



Dated 191 . 


A f onn of labor contract between the sugar company 
and the farmer is given below. 





I, , of County of .... , 

State of .... , hereby make application to the .... 
Sugar Company (hereinafter called the company), for hand 
laborers to care for . . . . . . acres of sugar-beets, planted 

in rows inches apart, to be grown by me for said 

Sugar Company on Section , Township . . . 

. . County , State of .... , during the 

season beginning with the spring of 1918 ; the cost of such labor 

102 The SugaT'Beet in America 

to be Twenty-three Dollars ($23.00) per acre for beets planted 
in rows Eighteen (18) to Twenty-two (22) inches apart inclu- 
sive ; Twenty-one Dollars ($21.00) per acre for beets planted in 
rows Twenty-four (24) to Twenty-six (26) inches apart inclusive ; 
and Nineteen Dollars ($19.00) per acre for beets planted in rows 
Twenty-eight (28) inches apart. 

I hereby agree that, in consideration of the said Comi>any 
securing beet workers for me, and furnishing them with railroad 
transportation, I will sign a contract with such beet workers, at 
prices above mentioned. 

I further agree to transfer the laborers from the railroad 
station to and from the land to be worked for me, or to pay the 
cost of such transfer, and to furnish such laborers with a suitable 
dwelling place and water, and to haul fuel while they are em- 
ployed under this agreement. 

In case the Sugar Company furnishes a house for the laborers, 
I agree to pay for rent of said house fifty cents (50^) for each acre 
of my beets worked by said laborers. 

I further agree that for all money advances made by the said 
company, to care for the growing crop under the terms of this 
agreement, I will give to the said company my promissory note, 
bearing seven per cent annual interest, payable November 15, 
after date of note. 

It is understood that the said company will undertake to 
furnish the best laborers obtainable, but I will not hold the said 
company responsible for the efficiency of said laborers or failure 
to secure same. 

Dated , 191 . 



The phraseology of any of these contracts might be 
varied, but they illustrate the type of agreements en- 
tered into in the production of sugar-beets. 



The seed-bed is the home of the young plant. If that 
home is favorable, the plant gets a good start and has a 
fair chance to make a satisfactory growth; if it is mi- 
favorable, the plant is doomed. No matter how good the 
seed or what provisions are made for caring for the crop 
later on in its life, a satisfactory yield cannot be obtained 
unless the plant has a favorable condition in which to 
begin its life and to grow during the period when it is tender. 
In outlining methods of obtaining a good seed-bed, it 
must be remembered that conditions differ widely and 
that no practice will fit all conditions. The object is to 
make the soil a suitable home for the young plant. The 
practice that will produce this result in any locality is the 
one to use. In discussing the question for all conditions, 
only general suggestions can be offered; the details must 
be worked out locally. 


The methods of preparing land for sugar-beets cannot 
be discussed independently of the previous crop. If a sod 
crop is followed by beets, every effort must be made to 


104 The Sugar-Beet in America 

kill the sod plant and to promote the decay of roots and 
crowns. Considerable attention must also be given to 
stirring the land deeply in order that the beet root may 
have a mellow soil in which to grow. If potatoes or a 
root crop have been grown on the land, the soil will al- 
ready be loosened to considerable depth and there will be 
no coarse plant residues to care for. Under these con- 
ditions, the preparation of a seed-bed for beets is com- 
paratively simple. In planning a rotation in which sugar- 
beets are included, this question should be given due 
consideration, particularly in arranging the order in which 
the crops should follow each other. This is discussed 
more fully in Chapter VI. 


The most fundamental operation in the preparation 
of the seed-bed is plowing. One of the distinguishing 
features between the agriculture of the savage and that 
of civilized man is the difference in plowing: the one 
merely scratches the land sufficiently to get the seed 
planted ; the other stirs and pulverizes the entire surface 
layer of soil. In this process many desirable results are 
obtained : the structure, or tUth, of the soil is improved ; 
air is better able to penetrate to the roots; undesirable 
plants and weeds are killed ; manure, stubble, and other 
plant residues are covered and decay is thereby hastened ; 
and moisture is conserved. 

Every plant requires for its best growth that looseness 
of soil which permits a free passage of air and an easy 
penetration of roots. This is particularly true of sugar- 

Preparation of SeedrBed and Planting - 105 

beets. When left undisturbed for a number qf years, the 
soil becomes compact and is not in the best condition for 
crop growth. It is necessary, therefore, to loosen it by 
the use of some tillage implement, preferably the plow. 
In cultivating the soil to improve tilth, attention must 
be given to the amount of moisture present. A soil 
plowed when too wet will become more compact than it 
was before plowing. 

Plowing should mean more than the mere turning over 
of the soil. If plowing is well done, every clod will be 
shattered and every particle have its relation to every 
other particle changed through the shearing action that 
should take place when the plowed slice is turned over. 
As the soil falls into the furrow, it should be a granular 
mellow mass of loose particles. The kind of plow that 
will best produce this condition varies with each soil. 
Sand or loam may be made mellow with any kind of plow, 
but a heavy clay without organic matter can be given a 
good tilth only when every condition is favorable. 
fi Organic matter accumulates at the surface of any soil 
that is cropped. In the orchard, leaves fall ; in the grain 
field, stubble is left after harvest ; and in meadows that 
are to be followed by another crop, a sod must be turned 
under. These plant residues cannot decompose readily if left 
at the surface ; they need to be turned under and mixed with 
the soil in order to decay and give up their plant-foods as 
well as to assist in making available the mineral matter 
of the soil. Farm manure is constantly being applied 
to the land, and must be covered and mixed with the soil 
if it is to do the most good. Practically all of this cover- 
ing must be done with some kind of plow, although the 

106 The Sugar^Beet in America 

disk harrow finds occasional use where the land has been 
plowed recently. 

One of the most important reasons for cultivating the 
soil is to conserve moisture. Even in regions of abundant 
rainfall it is often necessary to save soil moisture, and in 
arid regions the very life of agriculture depends on con- 
serving the scant supply of water. If the soil is compact 
and hard, rain water will run off the surface rather than 
penetrate the soil where plants can use it. The soil must, 
therefore, be loosened in order that it may absorb moisture. 
The water that is in the soil moves from particle to particle, 
and if the surface particles are pressed tightly together 
the water will rise to the surface where it is lost by evapora- 
tion. This loss can be prevented by stirring the surface 
and forming a loose, dry mulch of earth which retards 
the escape of moisture. 


Many factors must be considered in determining the 
best time to plow, such as the amount of moisture in the 
soil, the rush of other work, the climatic conditions during 
the winter, the time of harvestmg the precedmg crop, 
and the time at which the land is to be seeded. As a 
rule, it pays to plow for sugar-beets in the fall rath^ than 
in the spring. This is probably more true for tiiis crop 
than for any other, although fall-plowing is usually con- 
sidered good for practically all crops ; there are, however, 
a few conditions in which spring plowing seems to give 
better results. 

Fall plowing is desirable because it allows the turning 

Preparation of Seed-Bed and Planting 107 

up and mellowmg of deep soU which winter^freezing wiU 
make congenial to crops; it secures a more complete 
decomposition of organic matter; it breaks up a cloddy 
and compact condition; it allows more of the winter 
rainfall to be stored ; it allows time to establish capillary 
connection between the plowed portion and the subsoil; 
it makes possible the earlier use of sod land for the beet 
crop ; it exposes and kills many insects and fungous pests ; 
and by giving better conditions for decay it allows the 
best use to be made of manure applied in the fall. 

The mellowing frosts of winter bring about changes in 
the soil that would require a great amoimt of labor to 
accomplish. This is especially true on heavy land that 
is made friable only with great difficulty. 

One decided advantage of fall plowmg in regions having 
heavy winter and spring rains is that the beet crop can 
be planted much earlier with fall than with sprmg plow- 
ing. If the farmer has to wait in the spring till the land 
is well dried before plowing, the season is far advanced 
before seed can be planted. Harrowing should follow 
plowing, after which enough time should elapse for the 
soil to settle before seed is planted. By this time the 
surface soil is dry and the seeds have to be planted 
deep in order to obtain the moisture necessary for ger- 

In many regions it is the custom to plow beet land 
shallow in the spring after fall plowing. This has the 
advantage of killing weeds that come up early in the 
spring, and it leaves a mulch on the surface. It has the 
disadvantage of drying out the surface; it also entails 
considerable extra expense. Farmers in many of the 

108 The Sugar-Beet in America 

leading sugar-beet areas find that spring plowing can well 
be dispensed with, particularly on heavy soils. 

In many regions it has been found that heavy land 
planted to beets or potatoes the previous year may be 
put in good shape without plowing, by giving the surface 
a thorough treatment in the spring. This is done by 
''taking ^ a fine tooth harrow, riding it and running it as 
deeply as possible, following with a float which will form 
a fine mulch on top and prevent crusting. Then take a 
spring-tooth harrow and run it as deeply as possible the 
same way the rows of beets are to run at least three or 
four inches deep. Next foUow immediately with a fine 
tooth harrow in order to keep the land worked down and 
retain the moisture and not allow clods to form. The 
same process should be repeated crosswise, running the 
spring tooth an inch or two deeper if possible. Go over 
it again with a roUer or Jeveler to get the surface firm 
enough for planting.'' While this method seems to 
eliminate plowing, it does not in reality do so, since the 
digging of the potatoes or beets is practically equivalent 
to. a fall plowing and the treatment b not recommended 
except for heavy land that has raised these crops. 


The proper depth of plowing has always been a topic 
of discussion among farmers. One will say that the 
deeper the plowing the better; another will affirm that 
shallow plowing is best. It may be that neither has 

1 Austin, Mark, Utah Farmer, Vol. 12, No. 31, Mar. 3, 1917. 

Plate VIII. — Above. (Photo by J. A. Broek) culti-packer preparing 
land for augar-beetB in Colorado; center, (Photo by J. A. Brock) prep- 
aration of land for beets with a tractor. Colorado; below, (Photo by T. 
H. Sumniera) the spring-tooth barrow is an excellent implement U> 
prepare land for augar-beets. 



Preparation of Seed-Bed and PlarUing 109 

made any careful investigations in which costs have been 
figured. All seem agreed that for beets deep plowing is 
desirable, since the expanding roots require a soil iJiat 
may be moved readily; but just what deep plowing is 
seems to be entirely a matter of local judgment. In one 
place twelve inches would be called deep plowing; in 
another locality nothing less than eighteen oi twenty 
inches would be so designated. 

Ordinarily where mechanical traction power is available, 
the land is plowed deeper than where horse power is de- 
pended on. In some sections an attempt is made to plow 
all beet land twenty to twenty-four inches deep. Other 
sugar-beet areas find half this depth ample. The nature 
of the soil and other local conditions are doubtless im- 
portant considerations in this connection. The length 
of time the land has been cultivated must also be taken 
into consideration. It would most likely be unwise to 
plow land twenty inches deep when it had previously 
been plowed only eight inches. The amount of raw soil 
thus turned up would probably render the land almost 
wholly unproductive the first year, particularly if the 
deeper soil were heavy and compact. 

The use of the subsoil plow was highly reconunended 
for sugar-beets in the early days of the industry in America, 
but now there is little said of it. In some areas it doubt- 
less pays to subsoil, but usually subsoiling cannot be recom- 
mended as a regular practice in connection with plowing. 
In diggmg beets the land is in reality subsoiled ; this is 
ordinarily all that is necessary. In some soils that have 
never produced beets, a subsoiling would probably be 
beneficial, but it certainly is not necessary to success in 

110 The Sugar-Beet in America 

raising beets and it is an expense that should, therefore, 
be eliminated. 

Conditions in each locality must determine what depth 
land should be plowed, but for a great part of the sugar- 
beet area a thorough plowing to a depth of twelve to 
fifteen inches is ample. When experience demonstrates 
that deeper plowing will pay for the extra expense it en- 
tails, greater depth shoidd be practiced, but the extra 
cost should always be considered. 

(Plates VIII, IX) 

Much depends on the final preparation of the land for 
planting. Good plowing counts for little if it is not fol- 
lowed by tillage methods that put the seed-bed in a con- 
dition that will favor a quick germination of the seed 
and a rapid growth of the young plant. This means that 
the top few inches must be fine and mellow and at the 
same time firm and moist. This preparation should be 
done early in order to make possible early seeding. 

If the land is too dry in the spring to respond well to 
tillage, it may be irrigated, but this irrigation must be 
given early. Usually irrigation will not be required be- 
fore seeding, but when necessary it should be given before 
the seed-bed is finally prepared, since it enables the farmer 
to make a much finer, more moist, and better bed for the 
eerminatine seed. 

Definite directions cannot be given regarding the im- 
plement to use. The tool that does the best work is the 
one to employ. The nature of the soil will determine 

Preparation of Seed-Bed and Planting 111 

whether disk harrow, spring-tooth harrow, spike-tooth 
harrow, float, or roller should be used. Often a combina- 
tion of several of these implements is required to secure 
satisfactory results. 

It must be remembered that the young beet seedling 
is extremely tender, and too much care cannot be given 
to prepare the land for its initial growth. Thorough 
disking, harrowing, and floating are the successive steps 
usually followed. The float may often be followed to 
advantage by some implement to firm the soil just below 
the surface, for sugar-beet seed is not planted deep. A 
number of good unplements are available for this firmmg. 
Finally, a light harrowing makes a thin surface mulch 
and kills the weeds that are newly germinated. The 
weed problem must be kept definitely m mmd in this final 
preparation, because if all the weeds are not killed about 
the time the beet seed is planted, they will get ahead of 
the beets and cause much trouble. Weeds are most easily 
killed just when they are starting. The land cannot be 
harrowed after the beets are planted; and by the time 
they are high enough to cultivate, the weeds may have 
a good start. 

Rolling the land is often practiced to make the surface 
smooth and to break clods. Compacting the surface soil 
with the roller increases capillary movement toward the 
surface, thereby hastening the loss of moisture. The fact 
that the soil seems more moist after a roller is used often 
misleads farmers into thinking they are actually saving 
water. Probably the farmer is, ujider certain conditions, 
justified in sacrificing part of the moisture in the soil in 
order to secure a better germination than is likely to follow 

112 The SiAgar-Beet in America 

compacting the soil around small seeds. If the land were 
compact in its original miplowed condition, the loss of 
moisture would result without the benefits of placing the 
seed in dose contact with a firm soil. 


With no crop is greater care necessary to secure good 
seed than with beets. It is so highly important that the 
sugar companies have taken the matter in hand and 
furnish seed to all fanners contracting to raise beets for 
them. Beet seed to be good must have the proper breed- 
ing; its sugar-producing quality must be up to the 
standard by actual demonstration. This is a matter 
that cannot be guessed at by the seed grower; he must 
know just what the seed will do. The seed must be up 
to standard in power to germinate, since poor germination 
means a poor stand and this is a serious matter for the 
sugar-beet grower. The seed should have a bright ap- 
pearance ; if it is dark colored, it may have been wet and 
the germinatmg power thereby reduced. 

A number of treatments to improve germination have 
been tried with varying success. Treatment with sulfuric 
acid increases germination, but the trouble and expense 
of this treatment will probably prevent its general use. 
Scarifying the seed with a special machine hastens the 
germination of hard seeds, but this is not widely practiced. 
For the present, the farmer's effort should be centered 
on securing good seed instead of trying to revive poor 
seed by special treatment. A fiJler discussion of the 
seed question is given in Chapter XV. 

Preparation of Seed-Bed and Planting 113 


The date of planting seed varies with the region and 
with the season. In the Mississippi Valley and the East, 
the time of planting is between April 1 and June 1. In 
Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, it is two 
or three weeks earlier. Adams ^ gives the time for plant- 
ing m California as follows : 

Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys January 15 to March 15 

Southern California October 1 to April 1 

Central Coast Counties February 1 to June 1 

In most regions the season of planting is late March, 
April, and early May. Seeding time should not be de- 
termined by the calendar, but by soil and weather con- 
ditions. The soil should be warm and moist and the 
period of severe frosts should be past. 

Early seeding has many advantages and some draw- 
backs. If the seed is planted early and for any reason 
the stand is poor, there is still time to re-seed. There is 
also the advantage that the young plant can use the early 
sprmg moisture to germmate and get up before hot weather 
causes a crust to form. If seeding is done too early, there 
is danger of the seed remaining in the cold soil so long 
that it rots before there is sufficient heat to germinate. 

In some localities the time of planting is determined 
by seasonal winds which dry the land and cause it to 
crust or in other ways injure the newly planted seed or 
the seedling. Dates of planting must be chosen so that 
the seedlings will not be at a critical stage during the 
season when regular unfavorable winds occur. 

» Adams, R. L., Calif. Exp. Sta., Cir. No. 160. 1917. 

114 The Sugar-Beet in America 

(Plate X; Fig. 10) 

The distance between rows varies from eighteen to 
thirty inches; twenty inches is the ordinary distance. 
If land is poor or if water is scarce, the beets must be 
planted farther apart or they do not continue a vigorous 

Fia. ]0. — Four-row beet aeeder. Rear view. 

growth throughout the season. Under any conditions 
the rows must be far enough apart to permit horse-drawn 
cultivators to go between them. In each locality the 
distance is usually uniform in order to allow an inter- 
change of machmery. Tillage implements are made to 
cultivate a number of rows at a time ; consequently, the 
spacing should be regular. 
The amount of seed planted varies from about twelve 

Plate X. — Above. (Courtesy Truman G. Palmer) planting sugar- 
beets, Colorado; the extending arms are used as mnrkers; center, 
(Courtesy Union Sugar Co.) two engines with connecting cables pull- 
ing machinery- in beet fields. California : bc/oic. (Courtesy Facts About 
Sugar) cultivating and hoeing sugar-beets, Iowa. 

Preparation of SeedrBed and Planting 115 

to twenty j)ounds to the acre. More seed is required 
if the land is not in a condition to hasten germination. 
The size of seed also affects the amount to be used. It 
is poor economy to save unnecessarily on beet seed, since 
a good stand is so indispensable to a good yield. For 
the average soil that has been well prepared, about fifteen 
poimds of average seed to the acre gives excellent results. 

The depth of planting is very important. It is easy 
to plant the seed too deep and thereby to reduce its vitality. 
The seed of the sugar-beet has little food stored in it. If 
it is planted deeply, this reserve is used up before the 
plant is able to manufacture its own food. The depth of 
moisture necessary to germinate the seed must also be 
considered. Seed planted in dry soil will not germinate, 
and it is better to have a plant that is weak due to deep 
planting than to obtain no plant at all, because of plant- 
ing in dry soil. Usually seed is planted between three- 
fourths of an inch and one and a half inches deep. If the 
condition of the soil permits, shallow planting is to be 
preferred. This is particularly true on heavy land that 
is likely to crust. 

Many types of beet drills are on the market. No type 
is best for all kinds of soils. In some cases the seed is 
planted one seed in a place and scattered regularly along 
the row. In some sections a type of drill that drops the 
seed in hills to facilitate thinning is finding favor. 


A good stand of beets is so important that every means 
should be used to secure it. If, for any reason, the first 

116 The Sugar-Beet in America 

seeding does not produce a uniform stand, it is often 
desirable to re-seed. It may be that the crop will have 
to be planted several times. One of the chief causes of a 
poor stand is a crust which forms at the surface after the 
seed is planted and before it comes up. If the seeding is 
light; the single plants may have difficulty pushing 
through, whereas a heavier seeding would place several 
plants near each other and together they could break 
through the crust. 

Many kinds of mechanical devices are used to break 
the crust. The roller is often employed. A very effective 
implement consists of special wheels running directly 
over the rows. These have spike points or knives which 
penetrate the crust sufficiently to enable the tender 
plants to come through without disturbing the isoil enough 
to injure the seedling. 



The acre-yields of sugar-beets are lower in America than 
in the European countries, largely because cultural methods 
here are not so thorough. The higher price of hand labor, 
together with the availability of land, has made the 
American farmer less inclined to give to his farming opera- 
tions the painstaking care necessary for high yields. This 
condition made him slow to take up beet-raising in the 
first place, and it makes him remain a little behind the 
European farmer in the care he gives to the crop. In 
regions in which sugar-beets have been raised longest, 
farmers are learning that they are well repaid for the 
extra work they give to the beet crop. They are finding 
that for every dollar spent on better culture, they may 
obtain several dollars in return. The operations deserv- 
ing most attention in this connection are thinning and 
cultivation. The practices are suggested in Plate X, and 
in the test figures. 


(Plate XI) 

Preparation for thinning. 

The first requisite to good thinning is an even stand 
of beets. If this can be secured from the first seeding, so 


118 The Sugar^Beel in America 

much the better; but if not, re-seeding should be resorted 
to. A satisfactory crop camiot be raised if only half the 
beets come up. In some soils no treatment is necessary 
from the time the seed is planted till the beets are ready 
to thin. In some sections^ however, it is advisable to 
roll the land soon after the beets come up and before they 
are thinned. Some disagreement exists as to the value 
of this rolling, but many farmers believe it to be of de- 
cided benefit on some soils. 

The practice of beginning cultivation as soon as the 
beets are up enough to show tlie rows has many advantages. 
It helps to conserve the moisture ; it keeps in check weeds 
that come up so abimdantly at this season of the year; 
it gives to the rapidly-growing young plants the supply 
of air needed by their roots ; and it facilitates thinning. 

Blocking and thinning. 

No operation in the entire process of beet-raising is 
more important than thinning. Losses resulting from 
poor thinning are not easily apparent ; for this reason the 
danger is greater. At the time the beets are thinned, the 
farmer is rushed with other work, and since this operation 
is very slow and tedious, the tendency is to hurry over it. 
If each farmer could perform his own work, sufficient care 
would probably be taken, but most thinning is done by 
contract labor or by children, and as a result it is usually 
far from perfect. 

When the work is contracted, at least part of the pay 
should be based on the acre-yield of the crop instead of 
entirely on the area thinned. When a flat rate for an acre 
is paid, it is difficult to secure satisfactory work. When 

Plate XI. — Abone. thinninn augar-beeta, Utah (Photo by U. S. 
Dept. of Agr.) ; below, cultivating young beets ; continual cultivatioa ie 
necesaary for the best growth of beeta. 

Cvtaurd Methods 119 

children are employed, careful supervision is necessary, 
since they do not realize the difference in yield resulting 
from careful and slovenly work. 

Beets should be thinned about the time they have four 
leaves. Before this time, it is impossible to tell which 
will be the strong plants. Later, the shock to the plants 
that are left is so great that they do not easily recover. 
Much more damage is done by leaving beets too long be- 
fore thinning than by thinning them too early. When 
the farmer has a large acreage, he must begin a little too 
early and continue a little too long in order to thin most 
of the plants when they are the proper size. Planting on 
two or three dates is necessary with large acreages in order 
to make thinning at the proper time possible. 

The distance apart to leave plants depends on a number 
of conditions. If the land is rich, the beets may be closer 
together than if it is poor. If the season is short, they 
may also be left closer in order to hasten an early maturity. 
Under some conditions, the highest yield and sugar-con- 
tent are obtained where the beets have from 144 to 160 
square inches of siu^ace to the plant. With the rows 
twenty inches apart, the plants woidd be about eight 
inches apart in the rows. This would give 39,200 plants 
to the acre. If the beets weighed one pound each, a 
perfect stand would give a yield of 19.6 tons to the acre. 
In some places the beets are left as much as eighteen 
inches apart, but so great a distance usually results in a 
decreased yield. In a few places where the beets grow 
exceptionally large, this distance may be justifiable. 

\^en the beets are close together the yield may be 
higher, but the extra work of handling the smaller beets 

120 The Sugar-Beet in America 

often makes the farmer satisfied with the lower yield. 
The whole question of distance of spacing is so much de- 
pendent on local conditions that the farmer is safer in 
following local practice than any general advice. It is 
probable that the distance is more often too great than 
too small^ since in thinning more ground can be covered 
if the beets are far apart and the tendency is to stretch 
ten inches to twelve or foiuleen. Under average con- 
ditions^ from ten to twelve inches is about the correct 

After deciding on the time to thin and the distance be- 
tween beets in the row, the next thing is a sharp hoe with 
which to do the blocking. This is accomplished by cutting 
out all plants in the row except bunches that are left as 
far apart as the beets are to grow. Prom these bunches 
all plants but one are removed. In blocking the beets, 
it is well to lay out a strip of land containing sixteen to 
twenty rows and proceed much as in plowing the land 
so as to leave a back furrow with soil hoed from the fur- 
row as seldom as possible. Later in cultivating the rows 
with the back furrow, the soil and clods are thrown on the 
young plants and may injiu^ them. Expert blockers 
with the right kind of hoe can make the proper width 
with a single stroke. 

Next comes the tedious process of thinning (Plate XI), 
in which all the plants except one are removed from the 
bunch. In every case the most vigorous plant in the bimch 
should be left. Experiments have shown an appreciable 
difference in yield where a comparison was made between 
leaving the weak and the strong plants. If two beets 
are left at a place, each interferes with the other, pro- 

Cultural Methods 121 

ducing two under-sized and undesirable beets at harvest 

Losses from poor thinning. 

The United States Department of Agriculture/ as a 
result of three years' experiments carried on in Utah, 
showed the importance of having a good stand. The 
differences in treatment were hardly noticeable by a 
casual observation, but were easily seen when actual 
measurements were made. Although the beets were con- 
siderably larger where the stands were thin, the extra size 
did not nearly make up for the thin stand ; the correlation 
between stand and yield was remarkably close. Poor 
stands were almost entirely due to careless thinning, 
spacing, hoeing, and cultivation. Leaving the beets in 
pairs had a bad effect on the yield. Planting deeper than 
is customary resulted in more damping-off in the young 
beets and consequently in a poorer stand. 

The loss in stand before thinning was over 19 per cent, 
that during thinning over 21 per cent, and the loss be- 
tween thinning and harvest almost 7 per cent, or a total 
of 47.55 per cent loss in stand, so that the average showed 
only one beet to every 16.4 inches. Some farmers who 
were able to maintain a stand averaged a beet to each 
ten to twelve inches in the row. These farmers harvested 
a crop not only larger in proportion to the better stand, 
but ike beets with a thicker stand averaged higher in 
sugar. When the stand at harvest was 76.8 per cent 
perfect, the yield was 30.5 tons to the acre ; when it was 

1 Shaw, H. B., Dept. of Agr., Btd. No. 238. 1915. ' 


The Sugaf'Beet in America 

60.3 per cent perfect, 17.2 tons ; and when but 29.6 per 
cent perfect, 10.3 tons to the acre. 

In addition to the losses in stand due to poor cultural 
methods, there were losses caused by imperfect germination 
which might be attributed to the following causes : poor 
preparation of seed-bed, imperfect operation of seed drills, 
late frosts, damping-off disease, blowing of light sandy 
soils, flea-beetles, cutworms, and wireworms. 

Losses due to delayed thinning are shown from the 
following yields obtained in (Jermany : 

TnuD — Tcnrs 

Tnu OF Tbinitimo 

Loss AT $5 ▲ Ton 

At proper timi) 

One week later 

Two weeks later 

Three weeks later 






$ 7.50 


Two hoeings by hand are usually required; three are 
sometimes necessary. This is the chief item of expense 
after thinning and topping. Much depends on hoeing 
at the proper tim§ in order that weeds do not get started 
and take the nourishment and moisture that are needed 
by the young beet plant. It is likewise important that 
the hoeing be thorough. This is much more important 
for sugar-beets than for a crop like com that grows rapidly 
and soon shades the weeds. In the boet field it is the weeds 
that do the shading. Hoeing is often contracted in con- 
nection with thinning. This is very satisfactory since it 

; below, ditch used In 

ed rather eil^nsively in parts of CaliEornia and Utah. 

CvMuT(U Methods 123 

gives opportunity to require a re-thinning when the work 
was done carelessly the first time. 


As previously stated, cultivation should be^ as soon 
as the rows can be seen and should be continued till the 

leaves become so lai^ that they are injured by the cul- 
tivator. Probably the most important single cultivation 
is that given immediately after the beets are thinned. 
If properly done, it enables the young plants to revive 
better from the shock they receive when their companion 
plants are removed and the soil is moved away from their 
roots. Under ordinary conditions the cultivations will 


The Sugar-Beet in America 

be repeated about every ten days. This time may, how- 
ever, be modified somewhat by rains or by irrigation. 



VCL. US ». 


WeeOIM. KNlft NS & 

FiQ. 12. — Cultivator attachments to be used at di£ferent stages in the 

growth of the beet. 

Several good cultivators are on the market. These 
provide a number of attachments^ varying from the 
"spider" to the weeding knife, to be used at different 
stages in the growth of the crop and for different con- 

Cultural Methods 125 

ditions. Two-rowed and four-rowed cultivators are both 
employed. The larger one is used almost exclusively for 
the larger acreages. Plates XI and XII and Figs. 11 
and 12 indicate some of the methods. 

Specific directions as to just when and how to cultivate 
are almost useless, since practices vary so much with con- 
ditions. The best method is the one that will most surely 
accomplish the ends sought : the aerating of the soil, the 
conservation of moisture, and the control of weeds. 
Each one of these would be enough to justify frequent 
cultivation; combined they make it imperative. Few 
farmers cultivate too much; many cultivate too little. 
A crop may be raised with very few cultivations, but 
every time the soil is properly stirred the yield of beets 
is increased. Just before the leaves cover the ground, 
the final cultivation should be given and it should be 
thorough but not deep. 



The sugar-beet plant responds readily to a favorable 
moisture condition in the soil. It cannot be classed as 
either drought-resistant or a water lover; it requires an 
intermediate amount of moisture similar to that de- 
manded by such crops as potatoes and the grains. The 
amoimt of labor expended on a crop of beets is so great 
that every effort should be made to maintain the most 
favorable moisture-content in the soil in order that the 
yield of the crop may justify the expense necessary to 
raise it. The practical methods of affecting the soil 
moisture are by irrigation water where the rainfall is not 
sufficient^ and by drainage on land that is too wet. 

(Plates XII, XIII ; Figs. 13-22) 

Beels adapted to irrigation farming. 

Most of the sugar-beets raised in America are produced 
with the aid of irrigation water. Michigan is the only 
important beet-producing state in the United States that 
is not in the irrigated region. The beet-sugar industry 
was started in the humid part of the country, but it made 
no great success tUl it was carried to irrigated lands. The 


Irrigation and Drainage 127 

yield of beets is greater under irrigation than where water 
is not supplied. This b probably because irrigation makes 
possible the maintaining of a more desirabje moisture- 

Fio. 13. — fieBerroir for iirie'tion water, and direrBiim dam. 

content in the soil than can be relied on from the rainfall 

Sugsr-beet culture is adapted to intensive farming on ac- 
count of the great amount of man-labor that must be spent 
on each acre in thinning and harvesting. This condition 
fits well into the small farms of the irrigated district. 

Sources of irrigation water. 

The most conmion and least expensive source of water 
for irrigation is found in running streams. A suitable dam 
is placed across the bed of the stream to turn water into 
the canal which carries it to the land to be served. The 

128 The Sugar-Beet in America 

head of such a canal is sometimes many miles from the 
farm ; at other times the land to be irrigated is along the 
banks of the stream. 

When irrigation water is secured directly from a river, 
only part of the water can be used> since the irrigation 
season occupies but a few months out of the year, whereas 
the stream flows continuously, often having its greatest 
flow when the water is not being utilized. In order to 
make more water available, storage reservoirs are built. 
These receive the water at times when it is not being used 
and hold it until the irrigating season. As more land is 
farmed and as water becomes less plentiful, increased 
provision for storage is made. 

The pumping of water for irrigation from wells and 
ponds is increasing rapidly. The depth from which it 
can be pumped economically for beets depends on the 
expense of fuel, or power, and a number of other factors. 
Many beets are raised with water pumped from a depth 
of fifty feet ; and in some cases a part of the water used for 
beets is pumped more than one hundred feet. 

Measurement of water. 

Irrigation water, as well as land and crops, should be 
measured. In the past, guessing at the amount of water 
used has been more common than making accurate meas- 
urements. This has led to endless disputes and trouble 
concerning water rights. In the future, those concerned 
with the use of water will need to be familiar with methods 
of making measurements and expressing quantities. This 
will be especially true on sugar-beet farms where land and 
water are usually high-pric«l. 

Irrigation and Drainage 129 

The two principal devices for measuring flowing water 
are the weir and the current meter. With the former, a 
measuring gate of known size is placed in the stream and 
the height of water flowing over it determined. Prom 
standard tables the discharge is found. When the current 
meter is \xaed, the velocity of the stream-flow is obtained^ 
together with its cross-section ; from these the amoimt of 
water is calculated. 

Of the many methods of expressing quantities of water, 
the ones in most conmion use are the second-foot and the 
acre-foot. A second-foot represents one cubic foot of 
water flowing each second. An acre-foot is the amount 
of water required to cover an acre of land one foot deep, 
that is, 43,560 gubic feet. A second-foot flowing for 
twelve hours will flow almost exactly an acre-foot. If 
a weir is placed in the ditch, it is very easy to compute 
the depth of water applied at each irrigation. 

Preparing land for irrigation. 

Considerable care should be taken in preparing land 
for irrigation. This often caUs for a great expenditure 
of money to make smooth a surface that is rough and to 
give a uniform slope to the land ; but since a single level- 
ing will serve for many years, the expenditure is usually 
justified. Too often farmers, not wishmg to spend so 
much money during any one season, leave the land uneven 
year after year, and as a result each crop is diminished. 
It may be that the loss each year would not be sufficient 
to pay for grading the land, but many years would not 
be required to do so. 

Losses result from an uineven soaking of the land in 

130 The Sugar-Beet in America 

which the beets on low places receive more water than 
they need before those on the higher land have received 
as much as they should have. Scalding of plants on the 
lower spots, due to their being covered with water, is 
not uncommon. Excessive slope to the land should be 
avoided; more than five feet fall in one hundred will 
result in considerable washing. 

Methods of irngating beets. 

Although check and border irrigation is used in parts of 
California and in a number of other sections to a less ex- 
tent, most of the beets in the country are irrigated by the 
furrow method. In a few sections sub-irrigation is prac- 
ticed. The checks are usually rectangular in form and 
not larger than an acre in extent; a half acre is better. 
The checks near the head of the ditch are filled first and 
the water is moved from one to the other in regular order. 
The levees are seeded with the remainder of the field, but 
the beets planted here have less moisture than the others. 
Care must be exercised m irrigatmg by this method not 
to scald or to drown the beets. 

In furrowing out the beet field for furrow irrigation, 
several implements are used. Each community has its 
preference for some special implement. The main thing 
is to be able to make a good, clean, smooth channel. 
With the proper implement five to ten acres can be pre- 
pared in a day by one man and team. 

The permanent field laterals should be arranged so 
as to allow the freest preparation and cultivation of the 
fields without interference. By making the field laterals 
conform to the contour of the land, the water may be 

Irrigation and Drainage 131 

distributed evenly through the furrows. On light soil 
di£GicuIty is likely to be experienced with the banks' 
cutting, causing more water to run down one furrow than 
another. When this difficulty occurs, some form of 
permanent outlet may be provided to advantage. This 
insures fairly even streams. In many places small lath 
or galvanized iron tubes are put through the bank at the 
head of each row. These are long enough to protrude a 
little on both sides of the bank. Though these tubes are 
often helpful, they are not without objections. In a 
heavy soil devices of this kind usually are not required. 

To run water the entire length of a long field is a mis- 
take even where the slope of the land permits. On flat 
fields, cross ditches usually should be not more than two 
or three hundred feet apart ; even on sloping ground the 
distance should rarely exceed five hundred feet. Waste 
ditches at the bottom of the land should always be pro- 
vided, in order that use may be made of all the water that 
does not soak into the land. Allowing water to go to 
waste where it does no one good, but causes injury, cannot 
be condenmed too strongly. 

When sub-irrigation is practiced, water is allowed to stand 
in deep ditches from which it soaks laterally till all the land 
is moistened. This method can be used only where a rather 
open surface soil covers a layer that prevents the water 
from percolating rapidly. Where these conditions prevail, 
sub-irrigation offers an ideal method of applying water. 

Water requiremerUs of beets. (Plate XII) 

The amount of irrigation water required to produce a 
maximum crop of beets varies with the sunshhie, wind^ 

132 The Sugar-Beet in America 

rainfall, type of soil, and a number of other factors. It 
is impossible, therefore, to say that any given amomit of 
water should be applied. 

Widtsoe ^ and his associates working at the Utah Sta- 
tion found that on a gravelly loam from twenty to twenty- 
seven inches of water gave higher yields than either more 
or less. On a deep fertile soil there was an increase in 
yield with increased application of water up to fifty inches. 
There was a gain of nearly five tons to the acre when the 
amount of water was increased from five to ten inches, 
but when more than ten inches were given, the increase 
in tonnage was slight. One acre of land with thirty 
inches of water applied produced 20.28 tons, but when this 
amoimt of water was spread over six acres of land it gave 
a total yield of 82.68 tons. 

Investigations carried out in Colorado by Mead * and 
his co-workers, covering twenty fields irrigated in the 
usual way, showed that the average amoimt of water 
applied during the season was 15.6 inches. Most farmers 
irrigated from one to four times with about 5.8 inches to 
the application. The same investigations showed that 
for Montana and Arizona the irrigation season lasted 
from July 13 to August 17, during which time an average 
of 25.8 inches of water was applied- 

Roeding,* from experiments in Colorado, concluded 
that a higher yield to the acre was produced from about 
11.3 mches of water applied m two irrigations than from 

1 Widtsoe, J. A., et al.,Utah Exp. Sta,, Brda, Nos. 80, 116, 117, 
118, 119, and 120. 

« U. S. DepL of Agr„ Off, Exp. Sta., Bvl. No. 158. 

» Roeding, F. W., U. S. DepL of Agr., Fanners* Bui. No. 392. 

Irrigatixm and Drainage 133 

larger quantities in three or four irrigations. Irrigating 
every row was found to be much superior to running the 
water down alternate rows. Keeping the soil constantly 
wet was also found to be detrimental to the crop. Beckett/ 
in California, ascertained the yield of beets to increase 
with the increase of water. This was, however, affected 
by the time of planting. 

The author ^ determined that when weekly irrigations 
were given, one inch each week gave a higher yield than 
when more was given. These results are shown in Fig. 50. 
It will be noted from the variation in the water require- 
ments of beets under different conditions that it is im- 
possible to give a definite duty of water for beets under 
all conditions. 

Time to apply water. 

No set rule can be given as to the time to irrigate beets, 
except to say that when the land becomes too dry for 
favorable growth, it is time to add water. This condition 
will come at different times in the life of the plant under 
different conditions. 

McClatchie,' working in Arizona, found that if seeding 
was done during the cool part of the year, the crop needed 
no irrigation for a month or so after planting, but if grown 
during the time of warm weather of early fall, it needed 
frequent watering till the weather became cool. If the 
beets were planted in the warm spring weather, irrigation 
was necessary during the entire period of growth. Where 

1 Beckett, S. H., XJ. S. Dept of Agr,, BuL No. 10. 

* Harris, F. S., Utah Exp. Sta., Bvl. No. 156. 

* MoClatchie, A. J., Ariz. Exp, Sta., Bids. Nos, 31 and 41. 

134 The Sugar-Beet in America 

the land was so dry as to necessitate irrigating the seed- 
bedj it was judged better to irrigate before seeding than 
immediately after. 

Knight/ in Nevada, concluded that '^fall-plowed land 
sometimes requires an application of water before seed- 
ing/' but a poor stand generally results from an irrigation 
immediately after planting. Where spring watering is 
necessary, it should be done as early as possible, and when 
the land is sufficiently dry, should be deeply cultivated. 
He found that where beets received no irrigation until 
they failed to revive at night from the wilting of the day, 
an unsatisfactory crop resulted. 

Knorr,* at Scottsbluff in Nebraska, secured the best 
results when beets were irrigated at such times as to 
keep the plants in good growing condition from the 
time of thinning until about three weeks before harvest. 
The irrigations should be in moderate amounts and the 
soil never so dry that the plants suffer for lack of moisture. 
He found it desirable to cultivate the beets to break the 
crust by irrigating as soon as the soil became dry enough. 
Sugar-beets receiving three irrigations during the growing 
season gave a yield of 1.6 tons to the acre more if they 
also received an irrigation the previous fall, than those 
receiving water only in the growing season. 

The author,' in order to determine the critical periods 
in the life of the sugar-beet for water, divided the life of 
the plant into four stages of growth and added water in 

^ Knight, C. S., Nev, Exp, Sta,, BuL. No. 75, and Ann. Rpt. for 

» Knorr, F., Neh. Exp. Sta,, Bui. No. 141. 
» Harris, F. S., Utah Exp. Sta., Bvl. No. 156. 

IrrigcUion and Drainage 135 

five-inch irrigations to these various stages both singly 
and in various combinations. The results are shown in 
Fig. 15, which gives the average yield of roots and tops 
for the various treatments. The lowest yield was ob- 
tained when the land was irrigated after the seed was 
planted and before it came up. The yield with this treat- 
ment was decidedly less than it was when no water was 

Comparing the various periods in which but one five- 
inch irrigation was given, it will be seen that the third 
period, when the beets averaged two inches in diameter, 
was the most favorable ; the last period, when the beets 
were nearly ripe, was the least favorable. The second 
period was decidedly more favorable than the first. It 
will be noted further that the yield of tops was greatest 
with the very late irrigation. This means that the farmer 
by looking at his beet field will doubtless be deceived into 
thinking that the very late irrigation is increasing his 
yield much more than it really is. 

Upon examining the plants receiving two, three, and 
four irrigations, the greater value of irrigation water 
during the third stage is clearly evident. The highest 
yield was received where a total of fifteen inches was ap- 
plied. It will be remembered that in the weekly irri- 
gations a higher yield was obtained for 12.8 inches than 
for 32 inches. It seems, therefore, that the total require- 
ment of sugar-beets for irrigation water is not large, but 
that the period of application is important. 

The old ideas, that it is necessary to withhold water 
until the beets suffer before giving the first irrigation and 
that irrigation should be discontinued five or six weeks 


The Svgar-Beet in America 

bdore harvest, have been proven to be false. If the plant 
suffers for water either early in the season or late, the 
yield of the crop will be reduced. The soil auger will be 
found valuable in determining the moisture condition of 
the subsoil, and will thereby assist the farmer in judgiug 
when to irrigate. 

Size of irngaHon. 

The amount of water to apply in each irrigation is a 
subject of constant discussion among irrigators, who seem 
unable to come to any definite agreement. This must 

Bto. 14. — Effeet of weekly iniKationa on yield of beeta and tops. Utah. 

Irrigatum and Drainage 137 

vary with a Dumber of factors, the moat important of 
which are the depth and textm-e of the soil. A light 
irrigation of one to two inches would be ample for a 
shallow sandy soil, whereas five or six inches might well 
be ^ven a deep loam or clay. It must be kept in mind 
that the beet is a deep-rooted plant and that sufficient 
moisture should be added to moisten the land as deeply 
as the roots penetrate. Where the soil is suitable, a few 
rather heavy irrigations have given better results than 
many anall ones. The reverse is true for potatoes. 

Relation of irrigaUon to size, shape, and quality of beets. 
(Figs. I4r-21.) [ 

Many tests have been made to determine the effect of 
irrigation water on the nature of the beets. These tests 

The Sugar-Beet in America 

PeretnfSueeoit M Percent Purltjf 

I percentase of suctom and 

have given rather conflicting resulta. Observations by 
Schne^ewind ' and others in Germany in the period iroTa 
1896 to 1906 showed that, although the yields are smaller, 
root crops are richer in carbohydrates and protein in dry 
years than in wet ones ; hence the net influence of weather 
is not so great as it is ordmarily thought to be. High- 
bred, redstant struns showed less variation in dry and 
wet years than did common varieties. 

1 Landv). Jahrb. 36 (1917), No. 4, pp. 474-581. 

Jrrigation and Drainage 139 

Widtsoe and Stewart * found that although there was 
only a slight increase in the percentage sucrose with the 
water applied up to thirty-five inches, the percentage 
of carbohydrates increased with increased quantities of 
water used. Starch and cellulose, therefore, increased 
with heavier applications. The application of fifty inches 
in every case decreased the sucrose-content. The purity 
was lowest with the smallest quantil^es of water and was 
highest with intermediate applicatioiis up to twenty 

inches. The percentage of sucrose and the purity were 
higher in October than in September. 

Investigations made by the author * on the effect of 
irrigation water on the quality, size, and shape of beets 

1 WidtBoe, J. A., and Stewart, R., Utah Exp. Sta., Bid. No. 120. 

■ Harris, F. S., Utah Exp. Sla., Bid. No. 166. 


Tke SiigaT-Beet in America 

are illustrated in Figs. 16 and 17. In Fig. 16 both the 
percentage sucrose and the purity are shown to be some- 

what higha* in all the beets that were irrigated weddy 
than m those receiving no irrigation. 'Dte highest sugar- 
content was in the beets receiving two and one-half indies 
of water each week. I^^gure 17 indicates the lowest 
sugaiH»ntent, as wdl as the lowest purity, to have beoi 
produced on the plat receiving wat^ only when the beets 
were aiqiroaduDg maturity. Hw lu^est augarKX>ntakt 

Irrigation and Drainage 141 

with a single irrigation was in the beets irrigated when 
about two inches in diameter. 

The average weight of beets under the different treat- 
ments is given in Figs. 18 and 19, which show that the 
size of beets follows closely the relationships that have 
already been pointed out for yield. This was to be ex- 
pected, ^ce the stand on all plats was practically the 
same in the spring and yield was largely, but not entirely, 
an expresMon of size. The size of beets irrigated only at 
the fourth state was proportionately smaller than the 
yield would indicate. 

The lei^th of beets is also ^ven in Figs. 18 and 19. 
Figure 18 illustrates that when seven and one-half inches 
of water were given each week, the length of beets averaged 
slightly less than those receiving no water. The longest 

■ Ottraft nutlet of Betti ^ Oueragt ftnatit tf Bnta 
Fie. 19. — Effect of iTngatlon at diOerent atagea on average weigbt and 
length of beets. Utah. 

142 The Sttgar-Beet m Ameriea 

beets under the weekly urigatloiis were produced by one 
inch of water each week, but the differences due to the 
treatments were very slight. 


rorM Bittt 


i ^^f "^ hclshf Tift 

IS , 



■a < 

X If 







mm m mn mi 




S Inches 














figure 10 shows that five inches of water applied at any 
period made the beets longer than those that were not 
irrigated- The longest beets were those irrigated at the 
first three stages. The very late irrigation had but little 
effect in lengthening the beets. 

There is a popular idea among farmers that the first 
irrigation should be delayed just as long as possible in 



J^> , 


^-,, % 


'" q 

Plate XIII. — Above, tanks used in determining the amount of water 
used by EUgsr-beetB, Utah; criiler. marhine for digfiinK drain ditchus; 
much drained land is planted to sugar-beets; below, (a) topped too low, 
(A) topped at proper place, (c) topped too high. 

Irrigation and Dnunage 143 

order to induce the beets to go deeply into tlie soil. In 
order to increase length, some fanners even allow their 
beets positively to be injured by drought before applying 
water. The results reported here, which represent maiq' 
thousands of careful measur^nents during five years, 
show that this idea is wrong. In the ordinary good beet 
soil that is well-drained, an irrigation does not decrease 
the depth of penetration of beets ; it rather assists them 
to go de^)er. Of course this does not contradict the well- 
known fact that beets are likely to be shorter on a soil 
that is water-logged, suc^ as that in which a total of 96 
inches of water was applied. In view of these experiments, 
it seems folly to let beets suffer for water and be injured 
permanently in order to make them root deeply. 

The percentage of forked beets b shown, by Figs, 20 
and 21, to bear no consistent relationship to the amount 

144 The Sugar-Beet in America 

of water or to the time of application. In the weekly 
irrigation tests, the beets that were not irrigated had the 
largest niunber of forked roots, whereas in the plats that 
had water applied at different periods, the plat receiving 
water only at the first stage had the least number of forked 
roots. The greatest munber was on plats irrigated early 
and late. The differences, therefore, are not consistent and 
the idea that any method of irrigation greatly mcreases 
the tendency toward forkedness seems unwarranted. 

An examination of Figs. 20 and 21 for the effect of 
treatment on the height of tops reveals a rather close 
relationship between this and the yield of tops, but not 
the yield of beets, which has already been discussed in 
connection with Figs. 14 and 15. 


Reasons for drainage. (Fig. 22.) 

Many millions of acres of land in the United States 
contain so much water that crops cannot be raised suc- 
cessfully. Part of this land is in permanent swamps; 
some of it is dry during a part of the year, being water- 
logged only at certain seasons. Much land, having a dry 
surface appearance, contains ground-water so near that 
roots cannot penetrate to any great depth. The chief 
diflSculty in the way of successful agriculture in all such 
places is the surplus of water. The only way to make 
this land suitable for crops is to drain it. 

In most arid regions, much of the land contains a high 
percentage of soluble salts. These often accumulate near 
the surface in such large quantities that the growth of 

Jrrigatum and Drainage 145 

(4ant3 is prevented. Drainage, which gradually removes 

these salts, is the only method of reclaiming alkali land 

permanently. Much land that is 

at present valuel^s on account of 

its high alkali-content would be 

of excellent quality were its excess 

salts removed. In fact, some of 

the highest yields of sugar-beets 

are obt^ed on land thus re* 


Effects of dramage. 

The drainage of wet land im- 
proves It in many indirect, as well Fio. 22. — DraiDaca 
aa direct, ways. LoweriM the Jwaioh dug with a machine. 

, ,, . , . , It la ready for the tile, 

water-table gives plants a larger 

zone from which their roots can draw plant-food and 
moisture. This lessens the need of fertilizers and the 
susceptibility to drought. - The increased aeration of the 
soil resulting from drainage promotes the growth of 
dedrable organisms, increases favorable chemical action, 
and makes the soil a much more de^rable home for 
plants. It warms the soil earlier in the spring, thereby 
increasing the length of the growing season of crops. 

Drainage improves the sanitary conditions of a r^ion 
by drying the breeding places of disease germs and dis- 
ease-carrying insects. It lessens the winter-killing of 
crops by reducing heaving of the soil, and it decidedly 
improves structure and tilth. All of these benefits worit- 
ing together result in a good net profit in almost evwy 
case in which drainage is properly done. It is a common 

146 The Sugar-Beet in America 

experience that when twelve or fifteen dollars are spent 
in drainage^ the value of the land is increased from twenty- 
five to fifty or more dollars. 

Kinds of drains. 

Any one method of drainage is not suitable for all con- 
ditions, nor is it always practicable to employ the method 
that might seem best. The entire set of conditions must 
be taken into consideration before deciding just how to 
drain a piece of land. Open ditches are probably the 
cheapest method of carrying away the water. They are 
used to advantage in draining ponds and other surface 
accumulations. The chief advantages of the open drain 
are : (1) the cheapness with which it can be constructed, 
and (2) the ease with which it can be cleaned. Some 
disadvantages are that it renders waste the land occupied 
and cuts the land area into small fields that are difficult 
to get at. The open ditches become filled with falling 
earth and weeds, and are a constant source of danger to 
farm ammals. 

Some form of covered drain is usually preferable for 
ordinary purposes. With the covered drain, a trench 
is dug and some material that will allow water to pass 
through is placed in the bottom. This is covered later 
with earth. Some of the materials used for such drains 
are rocks, brush, lumber, clay tile, and cement tile. The 
last two are by far the most common. Where clay tile 
can be secured, it is recommended imder almost all con- 
ditionsi especially for land high in alkali. 

Irrigation and Drainage 147 

Installing the drainage system. 

The first step in draining land is to lay out the system. 
Some kind of instrument for getting levels must be used 
to determine the contours and to decide where to place 
the drain lines. A level is also necessary to find the 
proper depth for the trenches. After the system is laid 
out, the ditches are dug either by hand or by machinery. 
In early days they were practically always dug by hand, 
but modem machinery now does the work much more 
cheaply. Tile should probably not be placed nearer the 
surface than two feet or deeper than six or eight feet ex- 
cept in unusual cases. Usually five feet is a good depth. 

The bottom of the ditch should have a uniform grade ; 
otherwise, the flow of drainage water will be uneven and 
silt will be deposited in low places. In sections where 
springs of fresh water occur, there is a tendency for roots 
to clog the drains. They must then be placed deeper 
than would otherwise be necessary. Care should be 
taken to have the joints of the tile fit well together to 
avoid filing with dirt. The work of covering can usually 
be done with a team and scraper. The outlet should be 
screened to keep out small water-loving animals, and 
should be constructed so that it will not be clogged easily. 
If an extensive drainage system is to be Ikid out, an en- 
gineer should be consulted. 



On the returns of the harvest depend the profits of the 
year. It is not sufficient to raise a good crop; it must 
also be gathered and husbanded. The farmer's respon- 
sibility does not cease till he has delivered the result of 
the harvest to the purchaser and secured his pay. It 
would be folly indeed to take great care in preparing a 
seed-bed, in planting, in cultivating, in irrigating, and in 
conducting the other operations involved in raising beets, 
and then be less vigilant in harvesting the crop. The 
harvest time is a very busy season and help is often scarce. 
For this reason, there is a constant temptation to rush 
the work and thereby to slight it. Giving way to this 
temptation means the giving away of part of the season's 


The proper time to harvest beets varies greatly with 
conditions. In parts of California and in other warm 
climates, digging may begin early in July and extend for 
two or three months. In most of the other sugar-beet 
Biess, digging starts in September and continues till the 
time the land usually freezes hard. The time to begin in 


Haroegting 149 

any locality will be affected somewhat by the area in 
beets. If the acreage is large and the mill will have a 
long run, digging may begin before the beets are en- 
tirely ripe in order that the farmers may be able to get 
all the beets dug before they are frozen in the ground. 
Since it is impossible to predict the kind of autunm, 
mistakes are often made in the time to commence dig- 
ging. For example, in 1916 over some sugar-beet areas 
the land froze solid very early and thousands of acres 
of beets rotted in the ground. If this condition could 
have been predicted, digging would have been started 
earlier and pushed faster. In 1917 the previous year's 
record was fresh in the minds of all and probably 
hastened digging somewhat. As it happened, however, 
the fall remained open till late and all the beets were 
harvested before it was necessary. 

Beets should usually be harvested when they are 
mature. This is not an absolutely definite point, but the 
general condition of maturity can be told rather easily. 
It is indicated by the browning of the lower leaves and 
a yellowing of all the foliage. The leaves also lose their 
vigor and have a drooping appearance. Ripeness is also 
indicated by the sugar-content and purity, but it cannot 
be told by analysis alone, since the composition of the 
beets is variable under different conditions. A beet may 
be said to be ripe when the foliage has the appearance 
just described and when analysis shows a satisfactory 
sugar-content and purity. 

The sugar company contracting for beets reserves the 
right to say when they should be dug. This is necessary 
in order that the beets may be received regularly during 

150 The Sttgar-Beet in America 

the slicing season and also because the company's agri- 
culturists, aided by chemical analyses, are better able 
to judge the proper time to dig than the individual farmer, 
who might allow the date of digging to be influenced more 
by personal convenience than by the condition of the 
beets. It is easy for the farmer, desiring to close off his 
fall work as soon as possible, to make the mistake of 
digging too early. It is difficult for him to realize that it 
is during the last few weeks of growth that the greater 
part of the sugar is stored in the beet, and that the ton- 
nage is also materially increased at that time. During 
its early stages of growth the beet plant is sending out 
roots and leaves and most of its food is used in growth. 
Only when growth is nearly complete is the plant in a 
position to do any large amount of storing. 

Under a number of conditions the beet plant may begin 
to ripen and store sugar, then later begin another period 
of growth and the sugar-content be reduced. These 
conditions are to be avoided. Every effort should be 
made to keep the plant growing up to the time of final 
ripening. A period of drought in the early fall may pro- 
mote ripening; and if followed by warm rains or by an 
irrigation, the plant may send out new leaf and root 
growth and use a part of the sugar that has been stored. 
It is, therefore, a mistake to let the beets become dry any 
great period before the time of digging. Sopie of the 
conditions bringing about this reduction in sugar are 
beyond the farmer's control, but he should be watchful to 
make favorable the conditions of which he is master. 

PIJ.TB XIV. — Abme, two-blade beet lifter at work, Colorado (Cour- 
tesy PerliD and OrendorfO '■ below, topping beets that have previously 
been thrown into pilea, Colorado (Courtesy Ameriean Beet SuRnr Co.). 



Two processes may be included under digging : namely, 
"lifting" and "pulling." The lifting is done by means 
of some sort of implement especially made for the pur- 
pose. The ordinary plow can be used, but it is very 

PiQ. 23. — Two-blade riding beet lifter. 

wasteful of pow^ and it causes con^erable damage to 
the beets. 

One type of lifter Is made on the plan of a subsoil plow 
mth a single point that is pulled along the beet row to 
break the beets loose from the soil. It also raises them 
slightly. This is the simplest kind of implement. It is 
cheap and effective, but has to be operated by hand, and 
the operator walks. 

A type of lifter that is [Hvbably in greater use con* 

152 The Sugar-Beet in America 

sists of two points parallel to each other, one on each dide 
of the row. Fig. 23, Plate XIV. As it moves along 
the row, the beets pass between the two points, being 
slightly raised but remainiixg standing in the soil. Some 
of these are operated by a man walking ; others are ar- 
ranged on a sort of cart and are controlled by a man 
who rides. Several companies manufacture implements 
of this type that give satisfaction. Probably no one 
type is best for all conditions. 

After the beets are lifted in this way, they are pulled 
by hand and thrown into piles for convenience in top- 
ping. Sometimes the piles are made without regard to 
any order of piling ; at other times the beets are placed 
in such a way that all the tops lie in one direction. With- 
out doubt this arrangement makes topping easier. If 
the beets are not taken from the ground immediately after 
lifting, there is a tendency for the soil to become compact 
again around the roots and increase the work of pulling. 

Two beets are knocked together when they are pulled 
to remove as much of the dirt as possible. The dirt when 
handled several times with the beets adds considerably 
to the work involved, and it does no good since it is taken 
off as tare when the beets are finally delivered to the 
sugar company. Unclean beets are a source of annoy- 
ance to all concerned in handling them. Sometimes the 
beets are pulled and topped in one operation^ but this 
practice is not common. 

TOPPING (plates Xni, XIV, xv) 

Topping is one of the important operations, and unless 
properly done results in considerable loss. It is an ad- 

Plate XV, — Above, toppinK beets that have been laid in rows with 
the tops all one way, California (Courtesy Union Sugar Co.) ; eenler, 
beet silo in field, Bhowing, a common form of beet rack (Courtesy Tru- 
man G. Palmer) ; beloio, rack containing net to assiat in unloading. 
California. (Courtesy Union Sugar Co.) 

Harvesting 163 

vantage to both the farmer and the sugar company to 
have the beets properly topped. The cut should be made 
just at the sunline as shown in Plate XIII. This is in- 
dicated by the coloring in the part of the beet that pro- 
trudes above the surface of the ground. 

The crown is low in sugar, as shown in Fig. 6. It is 
also high in salts, which interfere greatly in the purifica- 
tion of the sugar. These salts must be removed before 
the sugar can be made to crystallize. The salts so 
troublesome to the sugar makers are some of the very 
ones that are desirable for plant-food in the soil ; it is to 
the interest of the farmer to have them retained on the 
land. The sugar company wants only the sugar, which 
is the part that comes from the air; the fanner needs 
the salts in order to maintain the fertility of his soil. 
Proper topping serves the interests of both farmer and 

When the beets are piled in windrows with the leaves 
all one way, the toppers can go along the windrows on 
their knees and do the topping without much bending. 
When the person doing the topping stands, he must do 
considerable bending in picking up the beets. This is 
in part overcome by having a hook fastened to the knife 
near the point. The hook is driven into the beet, which 
is thereby picked up without the operator having to 
stoop so far. Some object to the use of the hook since 
the wound it makes in the beet doubtless results in a 
slight loss of sugar. Whether this loss is enough to make 
up for the advantage is not known. 

After the beets are topped, they are piled on a place 
that has been cleared of tops. They are now ready to be 

154 The Sugar^Beet in America 

hauled. If hauling is delayed, the pile should be covered 
with tops to prevent evaporation of moisture, which 
amounts to considerable weight on a hot day. Care 
should be taken that tops are not mixed through the 
pile of beets, as they are very troublesome later on at the 


Many attempts have been made to secure machines 
for the digging and topping, but these machines have 
not been widely used in the past. It seems, however, 
that at present machines are available to do as good 
topping as can be performed by hand and more quickly 
and at much less expense. Many -of these are "being 
manufactured and it is hoped that hand-topping may soon 
be relegated to the past. If these machines are entirely 
successful, the labor question in sugar-beet raising will 
be greatly simplified. 

There are two general types of harvesters : one that 
tops the beets and leaves the root in the ground to be 
lifted with another implement; after the tops have 
been raked into windrows, the ordinary lifter is used. An 
attachment that is fitted to the lifter has been devised 
and its use facilitates the lifting process. This attach- 
ment also removes most of the dirt that would otherwise 
attach to the root. 

The other type of harvester first lifts the beet and 
then tops it. This type of machine is fitted with equip- 
ment that delivers the roots in piles at one side, or with 
an extension of the delivery carrier, the roots are elevated 
directly into a wagon that is driven alongside the har- 

Plate XVI. — Abore, beet dump in common use in many Beetiona, 
California; below, ear dump mth hydraulic jack, Caiitomia. {Cour- 
teay Tniman G. Palmer.) 

Harvesting 155 

vester. The tops are delivered, separate from the roots, 
and left in windrows or piles. 

This latter type of machine moves under its own 
power, using a light-weight, high-speed gasoline engme. 
The first type described is drawn by a team and requires 
about the same power to propel it as does a mowing ma- 
chine that is cutting alfalfa. 

HAULING (plates XV, XVl) 

Beets are taken to the factory or to the railroad load- 
ing stations in wagons which are usually fitted with 
special racks. The ordinary wagon box can be used, but 
much labor is saved by having a rack made for the pur- 
pose. The beets are thrown from the field piles into the 
wagon by hand or with a beet fork. If no dumps are 
available, the beets must be thrown from the wagon into 
cars or into pile silos with a fork. Hand unloading in- 
volves considerable hand labor, but fortunately it has to 
be resorted to in a few places only. In most of the beet- 
producing sections, conveniences for lessening hand labor 
are at himd. 

A number of types of beet racks are used : some merely 
let down the sides ; others provide for the entire rack to 
turn on an axis and dump out the beets. These racks 
are made to hold from two to seven tons and average about 
foiu* tons. Nets are sometimes used to help in unload- 
ing. These are placed in the rack before tlie beets are 
loaded, and with their aid the entire load may be lifted 
off at once. 

Different companies have various methods of han- 

156 The SugaV'Beet in America 

dling beets at the receiving stations and different arrange- 
ments for weighing. One method is carried out as fol- 
lows: When the farmer arrives at the dump with his 
loadi the wagon and beets are weighed together, and 
he is given a ticket showing the weight. Several beets 
of average size are taken from the load as a sample from 
which to determine sugar-content and purity. He then 
drives to the dumping place and dumps his load into a 
hopper. From there the beets go into a revolving screen 
where most of the dirt is shaken off. It drops on a belt 
and is carried to a dirt hopper imder which the farmer 
drives and gets his dirt back. This is taken to the scales 
and weighed with the wagon. From ten to fifty pounds 
of the beets that have passed over the screen are weighed, 
and after all dirt is removed, weighed again. From this, 
the percentage of dirt is determmed and the net weight 
of beets calculated. 

The problem of ascertaining the proper percentage of 
tare is one on which there is constant friction unless both 
the farmers and the factory are willing to give as well 
as take. At best, the amount of tare is only an approxi- 
mation, and every method that can be used to simplify 
its determination will result in more agreeable relations 
between the farmer and the sugar company. 

The providing of inadequate dmnping facilities often 
leads to friction in regions where the industry is newly 
established; but in the older r^ons dumps are being 
built, so that most farmers can be accommodated without 
having to haul great distances. A number of convenient 
types of dumps are being used. 







Harvesting 157 


In many places where the land freezes, it is necessary to 
remove the beets from the ground several weeks before 
they can be sliced by the factories. This means that 
they must be stored during this time. In California and 
other warm sections, the beets cannot be dug many days 
before they are rim through the mill or they will decay ; 
but under these conditions there is no danger of the beets 
being frozen m the ground, and they are not dug until 
they can be used. In storing beets, care must be taken to 
prevent heating, evaporation, and alternate freezmg and 
thawing. This means that the pfles must be so built 
that ventilation is possible without the evils resulting 
from open exposure. These conditions are met differ- 
ently under different conditions, depending on the length 
of time the beets are to be stored, the temperature, and 
the quantity of beets to be handled. A high temperature 
is the greatest enemy to stored beets. 

In Colorado, Idaho, and Utah, the beets that cannot be 
handled in the bins at the factories are stored in large 
flat-topped piles several feet deep. These are carefully 
watched, and if any begin to spoil the pile is opened where 
the heating begins. In some places beets are stored on 
the individual farms. This is usually done in covered 
ricks similar to those described in Chapter XV. In these 
piles, as in the larger ones, the main things to guard against 
are heating and freezing. Provision must always be made 
for ventilation. Heat is much more likely than cold to 
cause loss. 



In 3ome of the live-stock communities, sugar-beets are 
becoming one of the most important crops because of 
the large quantity of inexpensive stock feed produced as 
by-products of the beet-sugar industry. It is the opinion 
of some experienced beet-growers, especially dairy-men, 
that beets would be a profitable crop to raise in order to 
I secure the tops for stock feed, even if no profit were ob- 

tained from the beets themselves. In addition to the 
tops, sufficient cheap feed in the form of pulp and molasses 
is annually available to fatten thousands of cattle and 
sheep. Sugar-beet regions are usually profitable live-stock 
sections. Each acre of sugar-beets yielding a good crop 
furnishes nearly as much feed in the form of by-products 
as is obtained from most ordinary forage plants. The 
best beet-growers are generally good stock-men and re- 
ceive considerable of their income from live-stock. 


In topping the beets, there remains in the field from 
one-third to two-thirds as much weight as is hauled away. 
This consists of beet tops and crowns. The quantity 
varies considerably with the soil, climate, water received, 


Plate XVIIt. — .ifcoBe.typeof beetdumpinusein Nebraska (Courtesy 
American Beet Sugar Co.) ; beiovi, sugar factory with beet-pulp drier 
and alfalfa-meal mill at the right, Kansas. (Courtesy Garden City Sugar 
and Laud Co.) 

By-Products 159 

and maturity of the crop ; but imder ordinary conditions 
about one-third of the total weight of the crop is left as 
tops. This would mean eight tons of tops for sixteen 
tons of beets. The green weight varies much more than 
the dry weight. Between one and two tons of dry mat- 
ter to the acre in the beet tops can be depended on from 
an average yield of beets^ or to put it more definitely, 10 
to 15 per cent of the net weight of the roots. 

Much more has been done to utilize beet pulp than tops ; 
but the tops furnish a cheaper feed than the farmer can 
obtain from any other source. The reason for careless- 
ness in utilizing the tops is probably due to the fact that 
they are a by-product and their true value has been 
underestimated. When dried in the field, beet tops 
contain about the same amount of nutrients as an equal 
weight of alfalfa hay; their feeding value is about the 
same except that they are lower in nitrogen and con- 
tain a comparatively large amount of potash and organic 
! acids, which cause animals to scour when they have un- 

limited access to the tops. 

Composition of the tops. 

The composition of tops is shown in Table V. The 
ash consists of potassimn, sodium, calcium, magnesium, 
chlorine, sulfuric acid, silica, and phosphoric acid, which 
are valuable fertilizers and should not be taken from the 
land. The tops consist of two to three parts of leaves 
containing about 2.2 per cent ash, to one part of crowns 
containing 5.6 per cent ash. Because of the high ash- 
content of the tops, it is often advocated that they be 
! plowed under just as they are topped in order not to 



The Sugar-Beet in America 

























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By-Products 161 

disturb the fertility of the soil ; but this practice is not 
economical when live-stock can be fed and the manure 
returned to the land. It woiJd be better, however, to 
plow the tops under than to allow them to be taken 
away from the farm and have no manure retiuned. It is 
a much more profitable practice to buy stock to eat the 
tops than to sell the tops, because the price obtained for 
them is usually much below their feeding value, which 
in&y generally be considered as equal to about one or two 
tons of alfalfa hay for each acre of beets. Besides, if 
their fertilizer value has to be replaced by commercial 
fertilizer, the loss is considerable. 

Feeding and storing beet tops. 

There are three general methods of feeding beet tops. 
The most conuuon consists in turning the stock into the 
fields to pasture the tops just as they were left when re- 
moved from the beet. Although this is the easiest way, 
it is very wasteful ; it is estimated that from one-third to 
two-thirds of the tops are tramped into the ground or 
soiled by mamu'e and dirt. There is also danger that 
the stock will over-eat if allowed to run freely to green 
tops after they have been eating dry feed. When this 
occurs the cattle scour excessively and fattening is de- 
layed. This danger is somewhat lessened if the tops are 
allowed to become dry. Tops, when left in the open, 
sometimes tend to mold and cause trouble in feeding. 
This is especially true in humid sections. If pasturing is 
regulated somewhat for the first three or four days, the 
stock may be trusted safely to feed on the tops without 
mjury. This method is less desirable than drying the 

162 The Sugaf'Beet in America 

tops and feeding as hay or than making them into silage. 
When labor is expensive and feed cheap, this may be the 
most economical method of feeding. 

When hay is more expensive and when labor is avail* 
able shortly after the beet harvest, it is common to gather 
the tops after they have cured in the field and stack them 
like hay. Whether it is more profitable to dry-cure the 
tops or to silo them is a difficult question to answer in 
arid regions where curing is easy, but in humid regions 
siloing is unquestionably to be preferred. In case the 
beets were thrown in piles before topping, the tops are 
usually in piles that can be gathered easily; but when 
topping is done directly from rows or by a mechanical 
topper, it is usually necessary to gather the tops with 
a hay rake before hauling them. A large part of the tops 
is always lost in handling them dry ; hence it is usuaUy 
advisable to gather while they are still green or only partly 
dry. Piling green results in a smaller loss than does 
curing in tiie oj)en field. Usually there is considerable 
dirt gathered with the tops. This could be avoided by 
using care in gathering. 

Under ordinary conditions in a sugar-beet region, live- 
stock feeding is an important industry and feed is rather 
expensive because land that might otherwise produce 
forage crops is planted to beets. It is important, there- 
fore, that as much cheap feed be used as possible. Since 
tops are a good and also a cheap live-stock feed, much 
more attention should be given to their preservation than 
is usually done in this country. 

Methods of handling by-products are shown in Plate 

By-Products 163 

Siloing beet tops. 

The greatest feed value can be obtained from beet tops 
by siloing. This practice also proves benefioal by free- 
ing the leaves from j>ests, such as the ieaf-sixit and crown- 
rot organisms, and by removing the favorable hibernating 
places for insects. Siloing has the serious drawback that 
it requires considerable labor at a time when hands are 
moat needed. To make good ^lage, the tops should be 

Fio. 24. — Beet-top tilo ibom ground. 

put into the ^o within two or three days after being re- 
moved from the beet. It usually pays to silo the tops if 
conditions are favorable; but the supply and wages of 
local labor and other economic considerations make tlie 
problem one that each fanner must solve for Jiimself. 

The usual method of ^oing beet tops consists in di^in^ 
a trench six to ten feet wide, four to five feet deep, and 
as long as necessary in a well-drained soil, as convenient 
as possible to the feeding yards (Kg. 25). Silos are 
sometimes made on top of the ground, as in Fig. 24, but 
the depth is governed to some extent by the nearness of 

164 The Sugar-Beet in America 

tiie water-table to the surface; the depth of the pit is 
frequently less than given above and the thickness of tops 
made up by extendii^ the pile above ground. Less work 
is required in covering the silage if the trench is not too 
wide. Sufficient width, however, should be given to 
allow the wagon carrying the tops to be driven freely 

Via. 25. — Beet-top iUo below grouod. 

over them. This aids in compacting the tops. In 
scraping the trench out, the ends are left sloping enough 
to allow the wagon to pass ea^y in and out. In esti- 
mating the size of the excavation, usually it is assumed 
that the yield of ^l^e will be about one-half the weight 
of the roots and that a ton of the green tops will occupy 
thirty-eight cubic feet. 

In order that as small a proportion as pos^ble of the 
tops shall spoU, six to ei^t inches of straw are spread 

By-ProiudB 165 

on the bottom and sides of the excavation in which the 
tops are to be siloed- To st»orb a part of the moisture 
and to make the best use of the straw on the farm, a six- 
inch layer of tops is often alternated with a three-inch 
layer of straw as illustrated in f^g. 26, although the re- 
sults are entirely satisfactory when no straw is used. 

Pia. 2fl. — Beet-top ailo with sltarnBtinB likyen of tops and straw. 

From three to seven pounds of salt for each ton of silage 
is sometimes added while the silo is being filled. The 
value of this practice is questioned by some feeders. 
When all the tops are in the silo, a layer of straw is spread 
over the top and eight to ten inches of earth thrown over 
thb to exclude the air as much as pos^ble. In filling, it 
is essential that each layer be rather firmly packed both 
by the wagon delivering the tops and by a roller or by 
horses led over the tops near the edges. The drier the 

166 The Sugar-Beet in America 

leaves when put into the silo, the more the packing that 
is needed. When layers of straw are alternated with 
layers of tops, greater care will need to be used in pack- 
ing to exclude the air more thoroughly. 

A cheaper but more wasteful manner of siloing, prac- 
ticed by some, consists in piling the tops in large heaps 
without the excavation and allowing the surface few 
inches to decay, thus forming a protective covering for 
the interior of the stack. Obviously, the larger the pile 
the smaller the proportion of tops that will decay. 

After a period of about four to six weeks, the silage 
fermentation has progressed far enough to correct the 
cathartic, or scouring, effect of the tops, and they are 
ready to be fed. This silage is handled and fed in much 
the same manner as com silage; all kinds of live-stock 
readily eat it when they become used to it. 

Use of beet aUage, 

A large part of the beet tops is fed to beef cattle, and 
it probably serves best when used for this piu'pose. Beef 
fed on tops command as high a price as any on the mar- 
ket. Cattle-men ordinarily figure that for each acre of 
beets raised there will be sufficient tops to feed one steer 
at least one hundred days, allowing about twenty-seven 
to thirty pounds of dry matter to the steer each day. 
When used as pasturage, not more than a month to the 
acre is counted on to each steer. Usually some hay, and 
often pulp and grain> are fed in addition to the silage. By 
feeding twenty to thirty pounds of the beet-top silage a 
day, the hay eaten will be about half what it is without 
the silage. 

By-Products 167 

With dairy cattle the quantity of tops fed should be 
much smaller than with beef, because the former should 
have more concentrates and less bulky feed. Fed in 
moderate quantities, equaling about one-third of the total 
ration, the silage increases the yield of milk; but with 
unlimited access to the tops, cows do not maintain their 
milk flow. Each acre of beets should furnish from one 
himdred fifty to two hundred days' feed for an ordinary 
dairy animal. About the same quantity of siloed tops 
may be used as of com silage. 

Sheep do well on beet tops, but care must be taken 
that they eat only moderate quantities at first. Because 
of the desirable flavor and color of their flesh, sheep fed 
on beet tops are in great demand. Pasturing sheep on 
the tops is perhaps the most conmion practice, but it is 
dangerous not only because of the scouring effect of large 
quantities of tops on the animals but also because sheep 
tend to pack the soil, and thereby to destroy its tilth, par- 
ticularly if the land is wet. Sheep are usually fattened 
on beet by-products during the winter, and it is more de- 
sirable that the tops be siloed than pastured or fed dry, 
since the silage is always warm and convenient to handle 
in winter. Satisfactory, rapid, and economical gains 
have been realized from feeding three to four pounds of 
beet-top silage a day together with a lessened quantity 
of hay or other supplementary feeds. 

If the land is not so wet that it causes the soil to pack, 
either sheep or hop may be pastured on the remaming 
tops after the siloing or stacking has been done. Con- 
siderable feed is left in the form of undug beets and 
scattered tops that these animals relish. Since pork 

168 The Sugar^Beet in America 

from hogs fed on beet tops is of a desirable quality^ feed- 
ing tops to them is recommended. Experiments * show 
that hogs pastured on beet tops and receiving one-third 
normal grain rations did well. Horses should not be fed 
large quantities of tops. 


After the beet has been sliced into shreds and most of 
the sugar extracted^ pulp remains as a by-product. A 
great many experiments in this country as well as in 
Europe have been conducted to determine the value of 
this pulp. The interest in it seems to have been due not 
so much to its value as to the difficulty of disposing of 
such a great quantity of material at the factories. Ap- 
proximately 85 per cent of the original weight of the roots 
is discarded as fresh pulp, but by the time the water has 
been well drained from it and it has gone through the 
siloing process, only 25 to 35 per cent of the original weight 
of the roots remains. The tops can be dried easily into 
a rich hay in the more arid parts of the country, whereas 
it is rather expensive to dry pulp. The dried pulp is less 
than twice as valuable for feed as the cured tops. When 
time cannot be spared to silo the tops and when a suc- 
culent feed is desired during the winter, the pulp may be 
the more economical even though it is usually necessary 
to pay a small sum for it. Table V shows the relative 
value of tops and pulp. 

Only a small part of the pulp is fed just as it comes 

* Shaw, R. S., Mich, Exp, Sta., Bvl. No. 223. 

By-Produds 169 

from the mill. Most of it goes into huge Imnber-lined 
earth] silos six to ten feet deep, where it ferments into 
the pulp that is ordinarily fed. An increasing number of 
factories is being equipped with drying plants into which 
the pulp goes after a part of the water is expressed by 
pressure. In a few minutes the pulp is reduced to a mois- 
ture-content of about 10 per cent, after which it is sacked 
for shipment, or is mixed with molasses before being sent 
to market. 

By drying pulp, the loss due to fermentation is avoided 
and a concentrated feed is made. About 5 to 6 per cent 
of the original weight of the beets is recovered in drying. 
Dried pulp is somewhat similar to com or to commeal 
in composition and in feeding value. In this form it is 
worth about ten times as much as the fresh pulp and 
about eight times as much as the siloed pulp. 

Uses of beet pvlp. 

It is often necessary to starve stock for a few days in 
order to induce them to eat siloed pulp for the jBrst time ; 
but once they acquire the taste for it, all classes of live- 
stock eat it readily. Although siloing gives to pulp a dis- 
agreeable odor, it is a better feed after fermentation than 
before. The value of pulp lies not only in its succulent 
nature, as with com silage, but it also has a desirable 
hygienic effect. Brood animals and dairy cattle are es- 
pecially benefited by the laxative properties of the pidp. 
It has a stimulating effect on the digestion of all animals 
and enables them to make the most of their feed. Wet 
pulp is almost an ideal feed in sections where alfalfa forms 
the roughage part of the ration. Where grain can be ob- 

170 The Sugar-Beet in America 

tained at a moderate price, alfalfa, grain, and pulp put 
a fine finish on stock ; but thousands of animals are fat- 
tened without the grain, especially where it is high priced. 
By varying the amount of pulp in proportion to other 
feeds, it is possible to make excellent rations for fattening 
animals, producing growth and milk, preparing for 
maternity, and for merely wintering the animals cheaply 
without their losing weight. The combination of feeds 
and the amount of each is altered according to the piur- 
pose. Likewise, the value of the pulp to the feeder is 
determined by the object of the feeding, the character 
and amount of supplementary feed, the condition of 
the animals to be fed, and the value of the finished 

Being close to the great stock ranges, the western beet- 
sugar companies are able to miake good use of pulp. With 
rations made up largely of the siloed pulp and alfalfa hay, 
thousands of steers are fattened annually on these feeds. 
The stock fresh from the ranges are at first fed largely on 
alfalfa hay with only a comparatively small amount of 
pulp. This is increased gradually until the daily ration 
consists of about fifteen pounds of alfalfa and one him- 
dred pounds of siloed pidp. When fed alone, pulp is a 
poorly balanced feed which will endanger the lives of the 
animals, and will not fatten stock that are in poor con- 
dition. Grain and some roughage must supplement it. 
The best feeders begin with alfalfa hay and a small 
amount of pulp, increasing the pulp until the full ration 
is given, then toward the close of the feeding period a 
small quantity of grain is added. Where grain can be 
fed economically, the amount used b gradually increased 

Bjf-ProdiicU 171 

and the pulp decreased until the grain entirely supplants 
the pulp for a short period just hefore the steers are put 
on ihe market. In spite of the economy of feeding griun, 
thousands of steers are placed on the market without it. 
The Colorado Station,' in a one-hundred-day period, 
found that if the steers were in poor condition when the 
fattening pmod commenced, adding about half of an 
ordinary ration of corn to the pulp and alfalfa hay caused 

Pio. 27. — Pulp beiuE piped from factory to dlo. 

the steers to gain nearly half as much again as without 
the grain. With the same type of animals, the gain was 
about three-fourths greater when gr^ and pulp were 
fed than when only hay was used. The animals fed on 
pulp were also more thrifty than those not receiving It. 
For two-year-old fattening steers, nine pounds of wet 
pulp was equal to 2.8 pounds of alfalfa hay or to one pound 
of ground com. In computing the amoimt of pulp neces- 
sary for steer fattening, stock-men consider one and one- 
half tons of pulp a month to be sufficient for each steer. 
From four to seven tons of wet pulp and one ton of alfalfa, 

» Carlyle, W. L., and Grilfith, C. J., Colo. Exp.Sla., Bui. No. 102. 

172 The Sugar-Beet in America 

together with the supplementary feeds, if any is used, 
will finish one steer for the market. About forty-one 
pounds of beef is produced from a ton of pulp under 
average conditions. The daily amount fed is about 6 to 
10 per cent of the weight of the animal. Figure 27 shows a 
method of transporting sugar-beet pulp. Other methods 
are illustrated in Plate XIX. 

For wintering steers, the amount of pulp fed is often 
greater and the roughage may be straw instead of hay. 
Cattle will come out of the winter in fair condition on 
pulp and oat straw ; but they are not so thrifty and do not 
make the growth they should without a little nitrogenous 
food such as alfalfa hay or grain. Dried pulp is gen- 
erally considered too expensive to feed to steers, although 
at some periods it has been found to be about equal to corn- 
meal for fattening them and is somewhat cheaper.^ At 
Michigan it was ascertained that dried pulp tended to 
produce growth rather than fat; hence, it is recom- 
mended that it be fed during the early part of the feed- 
ing period and dropped from the ration later. From three 
to five pounds of the dried pulp a day is a common amount, 
although some feeders allow as much as ten to fifteen 
pounds to the animal. 

Used in moderate quantities, pulp is desirable for dairy 
cattle. Milch cows need considerable nourishing feed, 
but they will not eat enough to bring best results when 
they receive only dry feed. The stimulating effect of a 
succulent feed such as com silage is well recognized. The 
dry matter in wet beet pulp is equal to that in com silage 

^ Shaw, R. S., and Norton, H. W., Jr., Mich, Exp. Sta.^ Btda. 
No8. 220 and 247. 

Plate XIX, — Ahaee, cured pulp being hauled from the ailo; center, 
'pulp silo almost empty; the pulp remaining in the ^0 till the end of 
the aeason, due to evaporation and fermentation ia much more concen- 
trated than when fresh : below, (Courtesy National Sugar Manufacturing 
Co.) pulp silo and feeding yards joining a augor factory, Colorado. 



By-Products 173 

for milk production/ so that by feeding enough more of 
the pulp to make up for the extra water it contains the 
same effect is obtained by the two feeds. 

If properly fed, no ill effects on the milk result, and 
there is a stimulating action which causes the cow to 
consume more dry roughage and to produce milk more 
economically. With no other succulent feed in the 
ration, the benefits of siloed pulp are very marked. Since 
the cow should not have too large a quantity of bulky 
feed, it is not advisable to feed more than twenty to forty 
pounds of pulp a day, although fifty to one hundred pounds 
would be eaten if placed before the cow in unlimited 
quantities. Dried pulp finds great favor with dairy-men, 
especially with those who are feeding for high milk pro- 
duction. The stimulating effect is obtained in the dry 
pulp without the bulk, although it is better to soften 
with a little water before feeding.^ Replacing forty-five 
pounds of com silage with nine pounds of dried beet pulp 
and five poimds of mixed hay increased the milk yield 
11 per cent. Experiments show dried V^lp to have a 
value as a dairy feed equal to two-thirds that of wheat 
bran,' and it frequently takes the place of bran, oil meal, 
and the like, in the dairy ration. 

There is some diversity of opinion as to the value of 
mixing the beet molasses with the dried pulp. In New 
Jersey the addition of the molasses had littie influence 
when compared with the dried pulp without the molas- 

^ Wing, H. H., and Anderson, L., Cornell Exp. Sta.^ Bui, No. 183. 
» Billings, G. A., New Jersey Exp. Sta., Bvl. No. 189. 
» Woll, F. W., and Humphrey, Q. C, Wis. Exp. Sta. Ann. RpL, 
1905, pp. 108-117. 

174 The Sugar-Beet in America 

ses^ either of them being about equal to hominy meal. 
Comparing three pounds of molasses beet pulp with two 
pounds of wheat bran, it was found that the pulp pro- 
duced 12 per cent more milk than the bran.^ In other 
experiments ^ these two feeds were determined to be about 
equal. Molasses pidp is usually considered to be more 
laxative than the pulp without the molasses. 

In addition to cattle, thousands of sheep are fattened 
on siloed beet pulp and alfalfa hay near the sugar fac- 
tories of the West. Pulp has proved to be an excellent 
feed both for fattening and breeding animals. The meat 
is of excellent quality and much sought for in the larger 
markets. As in the case of steers, it is advisable grad- 
uially to increase the pulp ration until the finishing-off 
period, when the pulp is substituted by a less bulky feed. 
The addition of four-tenths of a pound of grain a day to 
a full pulp and alfalfa-hay ration was foimd to reduce 
the amount of pulp and hay, respectively, by about five 
and about two times the weight of the grain. It was not 
considered advisable to feed more than four-tenths of a 
pound of grain to sheep on pulp and alfalfa, and whether 
it should be fed at all or not depends on the prices of the 
feed.* Colorado experiments* show that a ton of wet 
pulp has about the same feeding value as 200 pounds of 
com for fattening lambs. Dried beet pulp has been 
found* to produce larger gains with growing lambs on 

1 Wis, Exp, Sta, Ann, RpL, 1905. 

» Hills, J. L., Ver, Exp, Sta, Ann. Rpt„ 1904, p. 484. 

« Merrill, L. A., and Clark, R. W., Utah Exp. Sta,, Btd. No, 90. 

* Griflan, H. H., Colo, Exp, Sta,, Bui, No, 76. 

« Shaw, R. a, Mich, Exp, Sta., Bvl. No. 220. 

By-Prodvcis 175 

clover hay and bran or oats than does commeal, although 
for fattenmg cornmeal was the better feed. Trials with 
sheep have failed to show that the dried-molasses beet 
pulp is any better for a feed than plain dried pulp. One 
hundred pounds of fresh pulp absorbs about six pounds 
of molasses; this will produce from fifteen to eighteen 
pounds of dried-molasses beet pulp. The usual amoimt 
of wet pulp to feed sheep is from seven to ten pounds a 
head each day, and of dried pulp about the same weight 
as the grain they would have received. It is usually ac- 
cepted by stock-men that eight sheep or twelve lambs 
should receive the same quantity of feed as one steer. 

Although wet fermented pulp is ordinarily considered 
too bulky and too laxative for horses, it has been con- 
cluded that when fed in limited quantities it is not harm- 
ful. Farm work horses eating as much as twenty pounds 
daily did well on this feed when combined with oats and 
alfalfa hay.^ When thus fed, the pulp displaced about 
one-sixth of its weight of oats. Perhaps more of the 
pulp is fed to horses in the dried form, and especially 
molasses-dried, than in any other form. In any form, 
pulp is not extensively used for horses, except for young 
growing animals and for brood mares when a rather laxa- 
tive feed is desired. 

During their growing period, swine make good use of 
pulp, as do also sows without pastiu'e. \^en fed in 
moderate quantities, young pigs relish it and make good 
gains, although grass answers the same purpose by act- 
ing as a mechanical agent to stimulate digestion. Pulp 

1 Clark, R. W., Utah Exp. 8ia., Bid. No. 101. 

176 The Sugar-Beet in America 

is so bulky that only a small part of the ration should 
be supplied in this form. Pulp and molasses sometimes 
take the place of part of the shorts or of similar 

To winter brood sows cheaply, pulp and a small quantity 
of grain have been used with good results. For hogs, 
the quantity of pulp recommended is between one and 
two pounds for each pound of grain fed in fattening. If 
dried pulp is used, it is usually softened with milk before 
being fed. 


The feeding of roots left from the production of sugar- 
beet seed is growing in importance. Thes^ beets contam 
from 6 to 14 per cent of sugar and frequently yield from 
eight to ten tons to the acre. Since their woody fibrous 
nature prevents their being used for sugar-making, feed- 
ing seems to be the only way of obtaining a profit from 
them. The great amount of fibrous material makes them 
somewhat dangerous for stock, which are sometimes killed 
by accumulations of this material in the digestive tract. 
If fed m moderation and in connection with other feeds, 
it seems possible' to utilize this rapidly increasing by- 
product. Formerly, only a few acres of beet seed were 
grown in America, but in the future thousands of acres 
will be devoted to seed production. 

A product that merits more attention for feeding pur- 
poses than it is receiving is that which remains after the 

» Clark, R. W., Utah Exp. Sta., Bui. No. 101. 

Plate XX. — Ahove, dairy cows fed largely on BviRsr-beet by-products. 
Kansas (Courtesy GnrdcQ City Sussar and Land Co.) ; center, feed 
yards nsar factory, Utah ; bdovi, beet cattle being fattened on sugar- 
beet by-products, California. (Courtesy Union Sugar Co.) 

By-ProdwlB 177 

beets are washed at the factory. Quantities of root lips, 
leaves, and stems are flushed into the sewers and go to 
waste. If the water in the flumes carrying the beets to 
the factory were made to run over a screen just below 
the device for elevating the beets to the washer, con- 
siderable valuable feed might be saved. Various feeding 
practices are shown in Plates XX and XXI. 


In factories not equipped with the Steffen process of 
removing additional sugar from the molasses, there re- 
mains from 3 to 5 per cent of the original weight of the 
beet as a bitter molasses. Factories turning out molas- 
ses as a by-product vary the quantity according to whether 
the price of the sugar minus the cost of extracting is greater 
than the price for which the molasses can be sold. The 
ordinary amoimt that is sold as a by-product is about 
forty to sixty pounds for each ton of beets sliced. The 
purity of the juice, which in turn is modified by climatic, 
soil, and other conditions, such as the manner of topping, 
also modifies the quantity remaining after the sugar is 
made. Formerly, it was almost impossible to make a 
satisfactory disposition of the molasses, but today it is 
highly valued both as a stock feed and for manufactur- 
ing such products as alcohol, fusel oil, vinegar, and I 
certain kinds of fertilizer. Reference to Table V shows 
molasses to contain about 60 per cent of digestible nutri- 
ents. A large part of this, 50 per cent of the total weight, 
consists of sugar that cannot be extracted except by the 
Steffen process because of the high percentage of salts, 


178 The Sugar-Beel in America 

about 7.2 per cent being present. These salts, together 
with organic substances, give the molasses a disagree- 
able taste and a laxative action, which makes it unsuitable 
for human use and for animals when used in large quan- 
tities. When properly combined with other feeds and 
slowly introduced into the ration, it furnishes a desirable 
nutrient for fattening animals. For most stock, molas- 
ses is first diluted with water and then sprinkled on the 
roughage with which it is to be fed. In Europe, peat, 
which has no food value in itself, is sometimes used as 
roughage. Stock will eat large quantities of straw when 
sprinkled with molasses and do well on it. When pur- 
chased in combination with other feed, it is usually in the 
form of dried-molasses beet pulp. Molasses is a valu- 
able material to feed with alfalfa hay because its high 
carbohydrate content balances the high protein of the 

Alfalfa leaves and molasses are about equal to grain for 
feed and cost much less. To begin with, only about one- 
fourth of the full amount of molasses should be fed. 
This may be increased gradually to the full ration. It is 
a violent purgative when fed in excessive quantities or 
when introduced too rapidly into the ration; but if 
properly fed, its tonic action allows the best use to be 
made of a large quantity of rough food that might not 
otherwise be utilized. It should not be fed to brood 
animals in quantities large enough to cause great activity 
of the bowels, as this is likely to cause abortion. For 
fattening purposes, it is worth six to eight times its weight 
^ o{ wet pulp. 

The use of molasses for fattening beef cattle is inereaa- 

By-ProduOa 179 

ing in the western states. Many factories must raise 
stock as a side line in order to make a satisfactory disposal 
of pulp and molasses. Some of the larger feeders chop 
alfalfa hay or straw and sprinkle molasses over it with 
satisfactory results. About twenty pounds of molasses 
to each one hundred pounds of straw is a common pro- 
portion. Molasses increases the appetites of stock, re- 
sulting in their eating more feed at a time ; fattening is 
thereby hastened. 

The Great Western Sugar Company, in experiments on 
a large scale in which they used ordinary range cattle, 
found that for each one hundred pounds gain it required 
about 7500 pounds of pulp, 240 pounds of molasses, 760 
pounds of alfalfa hay, and 90 pounds of grain. It is 
usually aimed to feed three to four pounds of molasses a 
day along with the other feeds, although some give larger 
quantities. A ration recommended for a hundred fifty 
day feeding period with steers in ordinary condition is 
one ton of alfalfa, 400 pounds of molasses, 500 pounds of 
grain, one-half acre of beet tops, and one-fourth acre of 
oat straw. Steers on this ration made a gain of about 
1.7 pounds a head each day and were marketed in the 
best of condition. 

Without concentrates, it takes a little longer to get 
steers in good marketable condition; the flesh is not so 
firm, neither will the stock stand shipping so well with- 
out a great shrinkage; but practically the same total 
gain is obtained from feeding a ton of alfalfa, five to seven 
tons of pulp, and four-tenths of an acre — or about 500 
pounds — of dry beet-top hay. With less pulp avafl- 
able, molasses and grains should make up the deficiency 

180 The SugoT'Beet in America 

according to the amount of nutrients lacking in the 

Dairy cows are favorably influenced by small quanti- 
ties of molasses. Each cow can use to advantage from 
two and a half to three pounds a day. When other 
laxative feeds are not present in the ration, it is especially 
good as a tonic and results in an increased yield of milk. 

Sheep make good gains on molasses, fermented pulp, 
and alfalfa hay. In some sections, molasses is used to 
fatten old ewes and less valuable sheep, the only ad- 
ditional feed being the hay or straw with which it is 
mixed. Molasses beet pulp and dried beet pulp are 
about equal to com and cause the same gains. It is not, 
however, extensively used in this way. 

In some parts of America, molasses has met with con- 
siderable favor for feeding horses. When used in quan- 
tities not to exceed two quarts — 5.6 pounds — daily, it 
has been found possible to substitute it for grain pound 
for pound. Because of its laxative efiFect, most horse- 
men prefer not to feed more than one to one and one-half 
quarts a day. Horses at hard work, receiving this quan- 
tity of molasses mixed with twenty pounds of alfalfa or 
clover hay, and receiving six to seven pounds of rolled 
barley a day, kept in better condition than horses with 
a fuU grain ration. It is advisable to begin feeding 
horses with only one-fourth to one->half quart of molasses 
a day until they become used to it. 

Hogs have been fed successfully as much as one pound 

of moUaies a day while on pasture without causing di- 

• g8stive troubles. Feeding in larger quantities (2.4 pounds 

or more) for fattening quickly hss sometimes proved 

J .4 ' 

PijiTB XXI. — Above, sheep being fed molasses on straw, Colorado 
(Courtesy National Sugar Manutacturing Co.) ; center, tops of beets 
eaten by the army-worm in their rapid spread over the field; below, 
balloon usei^ in catching grasshoppers. 

By-Produuis 181 

rather unsatisfactory.^ Shorts, beet pulp, and beet mo- 
lasses when combined produced nearly as large gains as 
the full ration of shorts alone. By feediAg one hundred 
pounds of molasses, thirty-two pounds of shorts and one 
himdred fifty-three pounds of beet pulp were saved.^ 
Over-feeding with molasses causes excessive scouring and 
often results in death to pigs. Molasses is not generally 
considered to be a good pig feed ; if it is used, only small 
quantities should be given, and this must be introduced 
gradually into the ration. 


Considerable lime is used to purify the juice in the 
manufacture of beet-sugar. After the lime has combined 
with the impurities, it is of no more value to the manu- 
facturer. Some factories run this refuse lime into the 
sewer; others run the lime water into large reservoirs 
where the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving the lime 
as a residue. Lime to the extent of 2 to 6 per cent of the 
weight of the beets is required; hence, the quantity of 
waste product is large. No satisfactory commercial use 
has been found for it, although it has been used to some 
extent as a fertilizer. Its value for this purpose varies 
with the quantity of water in it, the quantity of valuable 
constituents it contains, and the nature of the soil on 
which it is to be used. The following is an analysis of 
samples from a Michigan factory : 

1 Clinton, L. A., ComeU Exp, Sta., Bui. No. 199. 1902. 
« Clark, R. W., Utah Exp. Sta., BuL. No. 101. 

182 The Sugat'Beet in America 

Insoluble matter 23.37 

Iron and alumina (FeiOt, AlsOt) . . 4.05 

Lime(GaO) 34.90 

Magnesia (MgO) 1.16 

Carbon dioxid (CO,) 26.00 

Phosphorio aoid (PsO|) 48 to 1.53 

Potash (K,0) 07 to .11 

Organic matter 9.06 to 10.76 


The product from different factories varies consider- 
ably in composition. It will be seen from the analysis 
that the fertilizing value depends almost entirely on its 
lime-content> the other valuable plant-foods being present 
in almost negligible quantities. This makes the material 
of value to the farmer only in case his land is poor in lime. 
Most of the beet lands of the country are fairly rich in 
lime and the demand for this waste product is not so great 
as it would be in regions having acid soils. There is no 
doubt, however, that on clay or acid soils greater use 
should be made of the waste lime. Many of the less fri- 
able and unworkable soils would require much less work 
and would produce better crops if lime were applied. An 
ample supply of lime makes more available the phos- 
phorus, potassium, and other plant-foods in the soil. 
When possible it is flooded over the land with irrigation 
water, thereby saving hauling and distributing. 

A few conditions occur which make the use of the 
waste factory lime unpopular. Being wet and mucky, 
it is very difficult or impossible to spread it evenly over 
the ground. In districts infested with certain i)ests, 
the use of the lime, together with the other refuse that is 
usually found with it, endangers the greater spread of 

By-Prodvct8 183 

these troubles. The disagreeable odor that accompanies 
most sugar-factory by-products makes them nauseating to 
handle. Its bulky nature makes its use uneconomical at 
great distances from the factory. 

In addition to lime, a small amount of potassium and 
ammonium fertilizer is made from by-products of the 
manufacturing process in factories equipped with the 
Steffen process. After all possible sugar is extracted from 
the molasses, there remains a slop containing compara- 
tively large quantities of inorganic salts and organic com- 
pounds that may be utilized for making fertilizer. The 
slop must be evaporated to dryness to obtain the fertilizer. 
This is profitable only when potassium brings a high price. 
Under normal conditions the slop can best be used on 
local farms with the irrigation water. Under more in- 
tensified farming, it may become profitable to evaporate 
and return it to the land from which it came; but at 
present it seems improbable that this material can compete 
commercially with the cheaper sources of fertilizer. 

Besides the products mentioned, there are a number of 
others, such as filter cloth and rubber belting, that are 
sometimes made of use for various purposes by the local 



With the increase in sugar-beet production, it is only 
natural that there should also be an increase in the pests 
that attack the plant. The gradual introduction of the 
enemies of the crop into sections is continually making 
the sugar-beet more difficult to raise. Because the 
various troubles are likely to appear at almost any lo- 
cality, it is imperative that growers should be able to 
recognize them in order that they may be checked as 
completely as possible. Profitable sugar-beet production 
has practically ceased in certain sections because the 
seriousness of the pests was not recognized and control 
measures taken in time. It is not within the scope of 
this book to give a complete discussion of all the pests 
and diseases affecting sugar-beets. Those who wish more 
detailed information should consult the special publica- 
tions dealing with the various troubles. 


Extent of pest injury. 

There are at least one hundred and fifty species of in- 
sects known to feed on beets ; of these about forty are of 


Pests and Diseases 185 

economic importance.^ It is the leaves and not the mar- 
ketable part of the beet that usually suffer ; therefore^ 
unless proper functioning of the leaves is prevented, the 
injury passes without notice. 

Ordinarily, injury is not great if proper methods are 
taken to prevent the incoming of pests ; but if no atten- 
tion is given to them and if farm practices are followed 
without regard to pest troubles, the damage b likely to 
be considerable. For example, the nematode when in- 
troduced into a region is usually unheeded, because of 
which it gradually infests the soil, making beet-growing 
impossible until suitable rotations are adopted. Insect 
diflBculties vary greatly from year to year. One year 
grasshoppers or army-worms may devour everything in 
their way, but the next year they may be absent almost 

Whenever there is a serious outbreak of any pest or 
disease in a locality, the State Agricultural College should 
be called on for help and every agency should cooperate. 
The sugar factory agriculturist and the county agricul- 
tural agent will be able to give assistance with ordinary 
troubles. When a new pest or disease appears, experts 
from the State Experiment Station or the Department of 
Agriculture should be summoned. 

Preoentvoe measures for controUing pests. 

A few general precautions known and utilized by all 
beet farmers would prevent a great part of the loss oc- 
casioned by insects. Weeds, especially those belonging 
to the same family as the sugar-beet, such as the dock, 

^ Forbes, S. A., and Hart, C. A., lU, Exp. Sta., Bui. No. 60. 

186 Tie Sugar-Bed in Ameriea 

lambsquaiter, and ooddd>ur, are breeding plants of many 
of the most serious pests. Clean culture that would 
eliminate these weeds greatly lessens the injury due to 
insects. Rotation of crops is |»actioed by many of the 
beet-fumersy but a few maintain the one-crop system untQ 
the enmnies of the beet beomne so numerous that the crop 
no kMiger can be grown. Mudi loss is oocaaoned by 
idanting beets after grass or similar crops that harbor 
scHne of the wwst beet enemies, sudi as the cutworms and 
wireworms. Fidds are not ordinarily kqyt as dean of 
insectrharboring rubbish over winter as mig^t be wished. 
In sections where cutworms give difficulty it should be 
known that jdowing dther in the fall or in the spring 
lessens injury from this insect. When attads of insects 
become acute, sprays and insecticides save mudi injury. 

Two general classes of insectiddes are available: (1) 
contact solutions for insects such as plant-lice and leaf- 
hoppers, which obtun their food by piercing the plant 
and by sucking its juice; and (2) poisons applied in solu- 
tion to the leaves of the jdant to kfll such insects as cater- 
pillars, beetles, and grasshoppers, which feed on the out- 
side of the leaves. The most eCFective contact spray is 
made of a solution of tobacco. For biting or chewing 
insects, sprays containing a poison such as the arsenicals 
are emj^oyed, the insects being killed by eating a part 
of the plant covered by some of the poison. Hie latter 
t3rpe of spray should contiun a very active poison which 
will not easQy run off the leaves of the {dant and be 
wasted, as frequentiy happens when not properly apidied ; 
hence arsenate of lead is one of the best sprays. 

Insect troubles vary from section to section; some of 

Pests and Diseases 187 

the most serious in one locality are not known in others. 
Certain insects, though present in a locality, may do very 
little damage even when serious elsewhere. Such insects 
as the leaf-hopper are greatly affected by geography. 
In some places tJiey have rendered successful beet-culture 
practically impossible, though in other sections the injury 
is but slight. Treatments must, therefore, be applied 
locally. No general description will suit all conditions. 

Blister-beetles (Mehidae). (Plate XXI.) 

These insects sometimes descend in swarms on field 
and garden crops, destroying the foliage and ruining the 
crops.* No less than a dozen species of blister-beetles 
work on crops. The insect is a long, narrow beetle with 
a distinct head and "neck.'' In color it is black, gray, or 
mottled, with a black or yellow stripe running the length 
of the wings on most species. The grubs, or larvae, of 
the blister-beetle feed on grasshopper eggs, and when the 
grasshoppers are more injurious than the beetles, it may 
pay not to disturb the beetles. The beetles may be kept 
from the leaves by applying bordeaux mixture. When 
this spray is made up with paris green as a constituent, 
it may be beneficial. When the attack is sudden, the 
usual method of control is to drive the insects from the 
field by a number of men swinging branches over the 
crop. The beetles move ahead of such a distiu'bance and 
do not return quickly after once having been expelled. 


The beet army-worm (Caradrina [Laphygma] exigva, 
Hbn.) occurs in disastrous abundance on beets at certain 

188 The Sugar-Beet in America 

periods. Outbreaks of this pest in the beet fields of the 
western states have at times nearly ruined the crop. With 
the exhaustion of its usual food in years when it is worst, it 
migrates from field to field devouring everything in its 
course as shown in Plate XXI. The larvae which do the 
injury are naked, duU-striped worms resembling cutworms 
and closely related to them. Except when moving in 
armies, the worm is not noticed, because it usually remains 
concealed in the daytime, feeding mainly at night. When 
full grown, the worm is about one and one-half inches 
long, of a dark color except for a yellowish stripe down the 
back and one down each side. The second brood makes 
its appearance in the latter part of the summer; as a 
result, late plantings suffer most. Its normal food plants 
are certain weeds; hence clean cultiure will prevent a 
number of the pests from developing. Poisoning with 
paris green or arsenate of lead offers much relief when 
there are a great number of the insects. The poison should 
be applied as soon as injury is noticed. 

The common army-worm {Leucania unipwacla Haw). 

This species is similar to the above except that it has 
three yeUow stripes mstead of one down its back and it 
wmters as a half-grown larva m the ground, emerging m 
the spring as a dull brownish moth. It more often at- 
tacks cereals and grasses, but also eats sugar-beets. This 
worm does its injury in early summer, whereas the beet 
army-worm is most troublesome in late siunmer. This 
insect troubles more crops than the beet army-worm and 
is more widely distributed. Ordinarily, it is held in check 
by its natural enemies, but when it becomes excessively 

Pests and Diaeasea 189 

abundant, control methods are necessary. One method 
of control is by plowing three or four furrows with the 
vertical edge facing the direction from which the army is 
approaching and dragging a log down these furrows to 
make a loose dust mulch. If the dust is warm^ many of 
the insects perish by suffocation when they fall into this 
dusty but it is better to drag the pole down the furrow 
often during the invasion in order to kill as many as pos- 
sible. If the attack is severe, it is often a good policy to 
spray the furrows with kerosene emulsion in case there is 
not sufficient time to do the dragging. The best method 
of control consists in applying a heavy dose of lead ar- 
senate to the crop around the edge of the field. Poisoned 
bran mash is often effective in preventing a severe attack. 
By faU-plowing fields in which worms were numerous in 
late summer, many of the hibernating larvae are destroyed. 

The fall army-worm {Laphygma frugiperda S. and A.). 

This species is rather similar to the above insect, but 
its destructive period is usually later in the summer. In 
appearance it is very similar to the beet army-worm and 
is distinguished from it by the nmnber of dots on its 
segments. It does not develop the army instinct so readily 
as the common army-worm and is not ordinarily so de- 
structive. It feeds on a wide variety of crops. Arsenical 
sprays are frequently successful in controlling this pest. 
Often on large fields, such as alfalfa stubble before the 
beet field is reached, many of the worms are crushed by 
runnmg a heavy roller over the field. Plowmg and 
disking, together with cultivation, kill many of the over- 
wintering forms. 

190 The Sugar^Beet in America 

Stigar'^eet webwomt {Loxoetege sp.). 

These insects were introduced into this country before 
1869, when they were observed in Utah, having probably 
come to the Pacific coast from the Orient. It is an in- 
habitant of Western and Central Europe and Northern 
Asia. Its wild food plant is pigweed (Amaranthus) and 
injury is greater to beets when this weed is allowed to 
grow abundantly. 

The worms spin webs over the leaves of the beet and 
eat out the portions between the veins. The larva is an 
mch long when full grown, brownish m color, with a 
narrow dark stripe edged with white down the middle of 
the back, and a light stripe along each side. Small dots 
cover the surface of its body. 

The worms burrow into the ground in the fall and spend 
the winter in white silken cocoons which they spin aroimd 
themselves. In the spring the moth comes out and lays 
eggs on the leaves of pigweed and alfalfa. A second gen- 
eration comes in July in some regions and a third in August. 
The last brood is likely to do most injury to sugar-beets. 

Control measures consist of poisoning and late fall 
plowing, which breaks up their winter cells m the soil. 
Arsenate of lead is sprayed on the beet leaves. Since the 
worms destroy the plants rapidly, the poison must be put 
on as soon as the injury is observed. 

Cvtvxmns (Noctuidae). 

Every gardener is familiar with the work of this group 
of insects. The several species going under the name 
of cutworms are the larvae of night-flying moths. The 
worms are smooth and of a mottled brown color, the 

Pefis and Diseases 191 

species having a slightly different appearance. Tliey 
work most vigorously in spring about the time the garden 
is coming up. They attack practically all crops, doing 
most damage by cutting off the young plants just as they 
are coming through the ground. When they are present 
in large numbers and take on the army habit, almost 
everything in their way is destroyed. They feed at night 
and hide during the day. 

The moths lay eggs in July and August in fields that 
have grown up to weeds. The eggs hatch early in the fall 
and the yoimg worms feed a few weeks before hibernat- 
ing in the soil. In the spring they come out with a full- 
grown appetite ready to eat almost anything. If poisoned 
bran, clover, or alfalfa is spread over the field just before 
the young beets come up, the worms will devour sufficient 
of the bait to be killed before injury is done to the crop. 
Arsenate of lead is used for poison. In large fields thor- 
ough cultivation in the late smnmer and keeping the 
land free from weeds, together with deep fall plowing and 
early spring cultivation, help to control the pest. 

WkUe grubs {Lachnostema spp.). 

The larvae of several species of June bugs or May beetles 
pass under the name of white grubs. As high as 15 per 
cent of the fields of beets in some districts has been re- 
ported destroyed by this pest, although it is not usually 
considered to be serious. Its action is worse in crops 
following sod, since grass land is its natural breeding place. 
Its life history is similar to that of the wireworms dis- 
cussed below, about two years being required for the 
grub to complete its cycle. 

102 The Sugar-Beet in America 

The presence of this pest is usually indicated by the 
dying of plants throughout the field. Examination of 
the soil near the plants shows the soft-bodied white worm 
curled up. It is from one inch to an inch and a quarter 
in lengthy and has a brown head and an enlarged abdomen. 

Nothing added to the soil is practical in killing the 
grub. Fall plowing, proper rotation of crops, and avoid- 
ing the use of infected manure are all helpful in control- 
ling the pest. Chickens and hogs are very fond of the 
grub and will help to eradicate it. Care in handling 
manure in which it develops may also help. 

Wireworme (Elateridae), ' 

The larvae of several species of ''click beetles'' or 
''snapping beetles*' are known as wireworms on account 
of their tough and wiry appearance. These slender, 
cylindrical worms vary from one-half inch to one inch 
in length. They vary from a shiny yellow to a shiny yel- 
lowish brown color, with their segments showing plainly. 
They move about by means of three pairs of dark legs 
close to the front of the body. 

"The life history of the injurious subterranean species 
is in some resi)ects similar to that of the white grubs, the 
beetles being among the earliest spring arrivals, occur- 
ring in April and May, and flying rapidly in the heat of 
the day. The eggs are generally deposited in moist places 
grown up with grassy vegetation, weeds, or com, and the 
larvae upon hatching fe^, like the white grubs, upon the 
roots, developing slowly and requiring about the same 
period for the completion of the life cycle — about two or 
three years. Like the white grubs, the wireworms trans- 

Pests and Diseases 193 

fonn to pupae in autumn and the change to the beetle 
form takes place before winter, the beetles usually remain- 
ing in a quiescent state until their emergence the following 
spring." * 

Wireworms do not affect sugar-beets nearly so much 
as they do some other crops. They are always worse 
after sod, corn, beans, or potatoes. When once they get 
into the land, they are difficult to eradicate by ordinary 
treatments. Nothing put on the land will kill them with- 
out also injuring the soil. One of the best ways is to starve 
them out by summer fallowing or by growing crops on 
which they do not feed. The elimination of trash from 
the field also helps. 

FUorbeedes and leaf-beeUes (Chrysomelidae). 

Several small leaf-feeding beetles, known as flea-beetles 
and leaf-beetles, do considerable damage to sugar-beets. 
The most severe injury is to young beets when they have 
from two to eight leaves. Some of these insects cause in- 
jury both in the adult and larval stage. The beetles 
skeletonize the leaf by eating out the pulp between the 
veins. These insects are sometimes poisoned by the use 
of paris green, london purple, and paragrene applied dry 
mixed with flour and dusted on to the leaves. Arsenate of 
lead is an effective spray. Clean culture is also helpful. 


Grasshoppers are among the most common and the best 
known of crop pests. They eat almost all kinds of plants 

1 Chittenden, P. H., 17. S. Dept. of Agr., Bur. of EnU, Bui. No. 

194 The Sugar-Beet in America 

and attack sugar-beets only incidentally. Grasshopper 
injury varies greatly from year to year^ usually increasing 
gradually up to a climax year and then dropping off sud- 
denly to begin the gradual ascension again. At least a 
dozen species are known to attack sugar-beets. 

Grasshoppers are commonly kept within normal num- 
bers by natural enemies, among which are birds, fungous 
diseases, and other insects. Mechanical means of coping 
with them, such as that shown in Plate XXI, are also used. 
Plowing under the eggs before they have had time to 
hatch is probably the most effective means of controlling 
them when the breeding grounds can be handled in this 
way. Several types of catchers are also used with success. 
Arsenic-bran mash is the most economical and effective 

Beet^^rooi aphis (Pempkigue beiae Doane). 

^thin the last few years the beet-root aphis has spread 
rapidly over the beet-growing sections of the United 
States. Attention was first called to it in 1896. It is 
similar in appearance to its relative, the woolly aphis of 
the apple. The insect lives on the small roots of the beet, 
sucking juice from it and thereby dwarfing the plant. It 
protects itself by means of its woolly covering and is 
consequently not injured by irrigation water. At inter- 
vab a generation of winged individuals appears; these 
fly to other fields, where they settle down and b^in a 
new colony. In the fall, winged females fly to cotton- 
woods and lay eggs on the tnmks. These hatch in the 
spring and migrate to leaves, where they pass one or more 
generations before going to the beet fields. In Colorado, 

Pests and Diseases 195 

another species (Tychea bretricomis Haxt.) has done con- 
siderable damage. This species also works on com roots. 
No direct method of control is known for either of these 
insects. Sprays are impractical since the insects work 
under the ground. Prevention, the only known method 
of coping with the pest, can be practiced, however, in crop 
rotation and clean cultivation. Thorough tillage early 
in the spring is thought to help in controlling aphids. 

Sugaf'beet nematode (Heterodera schachtii Schmidt). 

One of the pests that has done most damage to sugar- 
beets during the last few years is the nematode. This 
is not a true insect, but is an exceedingly fine, threadlike, 
colorless worm, so small that it is difficult to see with the 
naked eye. When these worms hatch from the egg, they 
enter the nearest rootlet and feed on the plant juices. 
This results in the formation of a dense mass of rootlets 
which cling to the beet when it is pulled up (Plate XXII). 
This has resulted in calling the trouble '' bearded roots," 
"hairy roots," and other similar names. 

The first evidence of the pest is a change in the color 
of the foliage, which takes on a lighter tint when the beet 
is injured. The outer leaves gradually wilt and finally 
die. The inner ones are small and do not thrive. Often 
the plant dies and the infected land is left bare. Usually 
this condition appears as a spot in the field which gradu- 
ally enlarges. Since the pest is readily carried about in 
the soil, when it once becomes established in a district, 
it is likely to extend to all the fields unless its spread is 

Rotation of crops seems to be the best method of 

196 The Sugar-Beet in America 

combating the difficulty. Many fanners, who have for 
several years raised sugar-beets on the same land, are 
being forced by the nematode to practice rotations. 
Shaw^ has proposed dividing the sugar-beet states of 
the country into the following four groups and has given 
crops to be included in rotations in each group : 

Group (1) California and Arizona. 

Group (2) Oregon and Washington. 

Group (3) Uta^, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, and 

South Dakota. 
Group (4) Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, 

New York, and West Virginia. 

Crops far the groups: 

Group (1) Cowpeas, soybeans, sweet clover, rye, the millets, 
tomatoes, asparagus, lettuce, cantaloupes, straw- 
berries, barley,' com,* Lima beans,' and wheat.' 

Group (2) Cowpeas, soybeans, sweet clover, rye, the millets, 

truck crops (such as lettuce and asparagus — 
but not celery), barley,' and wheat.' 

Group (3) In addition to the crops mentioned in Group (2), 
cantaloupes, cucumbers, and i>otatoes.' 

Qroup (4) Clover, cowpeas, sweet clover, soybeans, rye, the 
millets, tobacco, flax, peppermint, cucumbers, 
strawberries, melons, lettuce, asparagus, some 
other truck crops, the grasses with the exception 
of tall oat-grass, barley,' com,' Lima beans, 
I)otatoe8, and wheat.' 

When only small areas are infested, the pest may be 
prevented from spreading by pulling and destroying with 
quicklime beets for several feet around the infested area. 
When there might be a possibility of carrying the pest 

» Shaw, H. B., U, S. Dept of Agr., Fanners' Bid. No, 772. 
' Occasionally slightly infested with beet nematode, but may 
be used in a rotation series. 

._,--■*->.' J. 


Pests and Diseases 197 

on seed, heating that seed to a dry temperature of 145^ F. 
will kill any nematode without injuring the seed. 

The beet leaf hopper (Etdettix tenella Baker). 

This is probably the most serious pest of the western 
sugar-beet. Plate XXIII. It causes injury through the 
disease curly-leaf, which it transmits. This disease, to- 
gether with all other similar leaf troubles, has gone imder 
the general name of ''curly top." For many years the 
cause of this important disease was not known, but the 
discovery that it is due to punctures made in the leaf by 
the beet leafhopper makes clear the source of the difficulty. 

"Attention ^ was first called to the trouble in 1899 and 
1900, when it appeared throughout the entire western 
region from California to Nebraska. Another serious 
outbreak occurred in 1905. Over the large part of the 
area it has only appeared two or three times in twenty 
years. In smaller areas it has usually appeared in three- 
year attacks, cumulative in nature, after which it has 
almost totally disappeared for a time. In still other 
areas it has appeared the greater part of the time, and in 
these areas beet-raising has not been successful. 

"This insect is single-brooded, hibernates as an adult, 
flies to the beet field in late spring, and lays eggs in beet 
stems — a few at a time until mid-smnmer. He larvae 
mature in sununer and the adults disappear in early fall. 
It is found on shadscale, greasewood, Russian thistle, 
and fine-leaved annual salt bushes. Swarms of these 
insects appear suddenly in beet fields previously unin- 
fested. Much evidence points to the conclusion that these 

^ Ball, E. D., Utah Exp. Sta., Bui. No. 155 (1917). 

Pests and Diseases 197 

on seed, heating that seed to a dry temperature of 145^ F. 
will kill any nematode without injuring the seed. 

The beet leaf hopper {EiUeUix teneUa Baker). 

This is probably the most serious pest of the western 
sugar-beet. Plate XXIII. It causes injury through the 
disease curly-leaf, which it transmits. This disease, to- 
gether with all other similar leaf troubles, has gone under 
the general name of ''curly top." For many years the 
cause of this important disease was not known, but the 
discovery that it is due to punctiu'es made in the leaf by 
the beet leafhopper makes clear the source of the difficulty. 

"Attention ^ was first called to the trouble in 1899 and 
1900, when it appeared throughout the entire western 
region from California to Nebraska. Another serious 
outbreak occurred in 1905. Over the large part of the 
area it has only appeared two or three times in twenty 
years. In smaller areas it has usually appeared in three- 
year attacks, cumulative in nature, after which it has 
almost totally disappeared for a time. In still other 
areas it has appeared the greater part of the time, and in 
these areas beet-raising has not been successful. 

"This insect is single-brooded, hibernates as an adult, 
flies to the beet field in late spring, and lays eggs in beet 
stems — a few at a time until mid-summer. TTie larvae 
mature in smnmer and the adults disappear in early fall. 
It is found on shadscale, greasewood, Russian thistle, 
and fine-leaved annual salt bushes. Swarms of these 
insects appear suddenly in beet fields previously unin- 
fested. Much evidence points to the conclusion that these 

1 BaU, E. D., Utah Exp, Sia., Bvl. No, 155 (1917). 

Pests and Diseases 197 


on seed, heating that seed to a dry temperature of 145^ F. 
will km any nematode without injuring the seed. 

The beet leaf hopper {EvieUix teneUa Baker). 

This is probably the most serious pest of the western 
sugar-beet. Plate XXIII. It causes injury through the 
disease curly-leaf, which it transmits. This disease, to- 
gether with all other similar leaf troubles, has gone under 
the general name of ^' curly top." For many years the 
cause of this important disease was not known, but the 
discovery that it is due to pimctures made in the leaf by 
the beet leafhopper makes clear the source of the difficulty. 

"Attention ^ was first called to the trouble in 1899 and 
1900, when it appeared throughout the entire western 
region from California to Nebraska. Another serious 
outbreak occurred in 1905. Over the large part of the 
area it has only appeared two or three times in twenty 
years. In smaller areas it has usually appeared in three- 
year attacks, cumulative in nature, after which it has 
almost totally disappeared for a time. In still other 
areas it has appeared the greater part of the time, and in 
these areas beet-raising has not been successful. 

"This insect is single-brooded, hibernates as an adult, 
flies to the beet field in late spring, and lays eggs in beet 
stems — a few at a time until mid-summer. The larvae 
matiu*e in siunmer and the adults disappear in early fall. 
It is found on shadscale, greasewood, Russian thistle, 
and fine-leaved annual salt bushes. Swarms of these 
insects appear suddenly in beet fields previously unin- 
fested. Much evidence points to the conclusion that these 

^ Ball, £. D., Utah Exp, Sta., Bui. No. 155 (1917). 

Peats and Diseases 197 

on seed, heating that seed to a dry temperature of 145^ F. 
will kQl any nematode without injuring the seed. 

The beet leaf hopper (EvteUix tenelia Baker). 

This is probably the most serious pest of the western 
sugar-beet. Plate XXIII. It causes injury through the 
disease curly-leaf, which it transmits. This disease, to- 
gether with all other similar leaf troubles, has gone under 
the general name of ''curly top." For many years the 
cause of this important disease was not known, but the 
discovery that it is due to punctures made in the leaf by 
the beet leafhopper makes clear the source of the diflSiculty. 

"Attention ^ was first called to the trouble in 1899 and 
1900, when it appeared throughout the entire western 
region from California to Nebraska. Another serious 
outbreak occurred in 1905. Over the large part of the 
area it has only appeared two or three times in twenty 
years. In smaller areas it has usually appeared in three- 
year attacks, ciunulative in nature, after which it has 
almost totally disappeared for a time. In still other 
areas it has appeared the greater part of the time, and in 
these areas beet-raising has not been successful. 

"This insect is single-brooded, hibernates as an adult, 
flies to the beet field in late spring, and lays eggs in beet 
stems — a few at a time until mid-sunmaer. TTie larvae 
mature in summer and the adults disappear in early fall. 
It is found on shadscale, greasewood, Russian thistle, 
and fine-leaved annual salt bushes. Swarms of these 
insects appear suddenly in beet fields previously unin- 
fested. Much evidence points to the conclusion that these 

^ Ball, E. D., Utah Exp, Sta., Bid. No. 155 (1917). 

;i — « - 

Pests and Diseases 197 

on seed, heating that seed to a dry temperature of 145^ F. 
will kill any nematode without injuring the seed. 

The beet le<xf hopper (EvteUix teneUa Baker). 

This is probably the most serious pest of the western 
sugar-beet. Plate XXIII. It causes injiuy through the 
disease curly-leaf, which it transmits. This disease, to- 
gether with all other similar leaf troubles, has gone under 
the general name of '* curly top." For many years the 
cause of this important disease was not known, but the 
discovery that it is due to punctures made in the leaf by 
the beet leafhopper makes clear the source of the difficulty. 

"Attention ^ was first called to the trouble in 1899 and 
1900, when it appeared throughout the entire western 
region from California to Nebraska. Another serious 
outbreak occurred in 1906. Over the large part of the 
area it has only appeared two or three times in twenty 
years. In smaller areas it has usually appeared in three- 
year attacks, cumulative in nature, after which it has 
almost totally disappeared for a time. In still other 
areas it has appeared the greater part of the time, and in 
these areas beet-raising has not been successful. 

"This insect is single-brooded, hibernates as an adult, 
flies to the beet field in late spring, and lays eggs in beet 
stems — a few at a time until mid-summer. The larvae 
mature in summer and the adults disappear in early fall. 
It is found on shadscale, greasewood, Russian thistle, 
and fine-leaved annual salt bushes. Swarms of these 
insects appear suddenly in beet fields previously unin- 
fested. Much evidence points to the conclusion that these 

1 BaU, E. D., Utah Exp. Sta., Bui. No. 155 (1917). 


198 The Sugar^Bed in America 

swanns fly from their breeding grounds on wild plants for 
long distances over mountain chains and other barriers. 
Sometimes there will be only one flight into a partic- 
ular region; if so, beets coming up later will not be 

''Leafhoppers taken from wild plants do not transmit 
the disease until they feed on diseased beets. Three hours 
on a beet rendered them pathogenic, but they could not 
transmit until after an incubation period of one or two 
days. It is probable that some wild plant carries the 
disease and leafhoppers coming from this plant are able 
to transmit it to the beets. 

"A large number of leafhoppers, early attack, hot 
weather, and clean cultivation are favorable to the curly- 
leaf development. The converse of these factors, together 
with frequent cultivation, early irrigation, and shade or 
weeds, are unfavorable. Seed growing is doubly hazard- 
ous in curly-leaf areas. 

"Loss from curly-leaf may be largely prevented by 
avoiding dangerous areas, by planting small acreages 
in a 'blight cycle,* by controlling the time of planting, 
by not thinning just as the leafhoppers appear, and by 
knowledge of conditions on breedmg grounds. Para- 
sites doubtless assist somewhat in controlling the leaf- 
hopper, but to be at all efiPective should be introduced 
into the permanent breeding grounds.'* 


The losses due to beet diseases have not been great in 
America, probably because beets have been grown here 

Pests and Diseases 199 

only a few years and the diseases have required time tor 
their spread. New beet areas have each year been 
opened up and these have been free from disease. The 
American beet-raiser has come to regard the crop as being 
free from disease and requiring no attention in this mat- 
ter. The time of complete freedom from disease, however, 
has passed. Already the fields in the older districts are 
mfested; the fight must be taken up in earnest. We may 
feel thankful for past immunity, but now precautions must 
be taken to keep in check the diseases that menace the 
industry. Many fimgous and bacterial organisms live on 
the sugar-beet plant, but only a few are of great economic 
importance. There are also a nmnber of troubles that 
seem to be physiological. Forms of rot on tubers in stor- 
age are shown in Plate XXIII. 

Leaf'Spot (Cercospora beticola Sacc.). 

This fungous disease is one of the best known and 
widely distributed of the sugar-beet. It is found in all 
American beet-growing districts. The amount of injury 
depends on the munber of the fimgous plants present 
and the period in the beet's life when the attack begins. 
Late plantings are as a rule less affected by the disease 
than early. It is more injurious to sugar-beets than to 
the red garden variety. 

It begins as tiny white spots scattered over the leaf, 
which later develop into small brown spots with a red- 
dish purple margin. There may be from ten spots to 
several hundred on.each leaf. As the spots become older 
they turn ashen gray at the center and gradually increase 
in size until the entire leaf may be covered, when it be- 

200 The SiAgar^Bed in America 

comes black and crisp. The outer, or older, leaves are 

the ones first aflFected. 

Townsend,^ in summarizing methods of control, says: 

** (1) Leaf-spot may be controlled on a commercial scale 
and in an Gq>ensive manner by a carefully planned and 
thoroughly executed system of crop rotations or by deep 
fall plowing. The best results are obtained by combin- 
ing these two methods. 

"(2) A proper and uniform supply of soil moisture, 
spraying, and proper disposition of beet tops and stable 
manure are important aids in the control of the leaf-spot. 

'^(3) The principal agencies in the distribution of the 
leaf-spot fungus are wind, water, insects, and man and 
other animals. 

''(4) Leaf-spot tends to reduce either the tonnage or 
the sugar content of the beet, or both, depending on the 
time, duration, and severity of the attack. 

''(5) Leaf-spot seriously injures the feeding value of 
beet tops." 

Bordeaux mixture is used as a spray. The fungi are 
killed when the beet tops are sQoed. 

Heart-rat (Phoma betae Frank). 

This disease, which is one of the most serious of the 
sugar-beet in sections of Germany, Austria, and France, 
has recently been introduced into the United States where 
it will probably become rather serious in the next few 
years. It has already gained a strong foothold in several 
beet-growing sections. 

1 Townsend, C. O., U. 8. Dept. of Agr., Farmers* But. No. 618 

Pests and DisecLses 201 

Duggar ^ describes it as follows : '' It begins to mani- 
fest itself as a rule in August by blackening and drying 
of the younger heart leaves^ and later older leaves also 
succumb, so that before the period of harvesting all the 
leaves may be dead and merely the beet stub remain. 
In cases where the beets are grown for seed, the fungus 
may also be found upon the seed stalks and cases. It is 
thought that this is one means by which the fungus may 
pass over from one year to the next. From affected leaves, 
particularly along the course of the fibrovascular bundles, 
the brownmg and general discoloration of the tissues extend 
into the tissues of the root, and there rot sets in. If the 
disease begins early in the season great injury may be done. 

"Spraying experiments have not yet given complete 
satisfaction. Care should be taken to destroy such re- 
mains of the previous crop as is practical, and the treat- 
ment of seed with Bordeaux mixture is desirable where 
disease aboimds." 

One company has adopted the practice of treating the 
seed where more than 26 per cent shows infection. The 
entire question of treating seed for this disease is at pres- 
ent somewhat unsettled. 

Scab (Oospora scabies Thaxt.). 

In some sections sugar-beets are affected by a scab 
similar in appearance to that on the potato and caused by 
the same organism. It usually covers the beet more com- 
pletely than it does the potato. The disease begins as 
small irregularities on the surface of the beet in which a 
corky, or spongy, appearance is seen. These small patches 

1 Duggar, B. M., ''Fungous Diseases of Plants." (1009), p. 3. 

202 The Sugar'Beet in America 

spread and unite till a great part of the surface of the beet 
may be covered. 

On potatoes the disease may be controlled by treating 
the tubers, but this treatment b not applicable to beets. 
Beets should not be planted on land known to be infected 
with scab, and particular care should be taken not to 
follow scabby potatoes with beets. 

Softrfot {Bacterium tevtiium Met). 

This rot has done considerable damage in Nebraska and 
in a number of other states where beets are grown. ''It ^ 
consbts of a rotting away of the lower portion of the root, 
the crown and leaves remaining normal except in the most 
severe cases, when the outer leaves may fall. The rotted 
portion is honeycombed with cavities which are filled with 
viscous, colorless, sour-smelling fluid which exudes on 
pressure. The decayed tissue b usually yellowish gray. 
The rot seldom appears above the surface of the ground. 
Young beets are not susceptible. The disease b favored 
by damp surroundings, as poorly drained soil. In some 
cases, large damage is known to result, sometimes fully 
90 per cent of the crop being affected. It b inadvisable, 
if the disease b noted, to grow beets in wet soil." 

The mobture condition of the soil seems to have great 
influence on soft-rot. 

BeetrTust (JJromycea betae Kuhn). 

This rust, which has been known in Europe for a half 
century, b found in some American beet fields, particularly 

^ Stevens, F. L., and Hall, J. G., "Diseases of Eoonomio 
Plants." (1910), p. 209. 

Pests and Diseases 20& 

in California. It has the appearance of the true rusts. 
The leaves contain pustules of yellowish brown powder. 
Cold damp weather favors the development of the dis- 
ease, which may be controlled by a bordeaux mixture 
spray, should it become sufficiently serious to justify this 
measure. Affected leaves fed to stock may carry the 
disease through the manure to plants the following season. 


The group of fungi called Rhizoctonia by De CandoUe 
seems to be responsible for injury to beets as well as to 
potatoes. The beet Rhizoctonia has gone under the 
name Rhizoctonia betas Kuhn, and has been popularly 
known as root-rot. This disease works principally in the 
seedling stage of the plant. At this time, on account of 
its girdling action, which is typical of Rhizoctonia, it 
shuts off the movement of food to the roots and the plant 

No effective preventive measure for controlling this 
disease is known. Greneral sanitary conditions — drainr 
ing the land and keeping the surface of the soil aSrated 
and in a good sanitary condition — help in retarding its 
growth. One precaution in handling the trouble is to 
delay planting until the soil is warm enough to enable the 
seed to germinate rapidly and for the seedling to get a 
good start. 

Sugar-beet mosaic. 

This disease is increasiug from year to year. In some 
places it affects a high percentage of the plants. It causes 
the leaves to turn a mottled yellow and to have a patched 

204 The Sugar^Beet in America 

appearance. The shortened petiole resulting from it 
makes the plant resemble one having curly-top, although 
the two diseases are easy to distinguish. The roots of 
plants having the mosaic disease are likely to be dwarfed 
and are often hairy. 


The damping-off of seedlings near the surface of the 
ground when they first come up results in considerable 
loss in some districts. This may be caused by a number 
of organisms, among which are Rhizoctonia, Phoma, and 
Pythium. The conditions which favor damping-off are 
heat, abundant moisture, and a weakened condition of 
the seedlings. The elimination of any of these condi- 
tions greatly reduces the dijBSculty from this cause. Plants 
on heavy clay soils are more subject to the disease than 
those raised on lighter soils. Improving the tilth of these 
soils also reduces the likelihood of injury from damping- 



Success in the beet-sugar industry depends on the 
maintenance of high quality in the beets. The industry 
was made possible only by improving the quality of the 
crop ; in the first years of beet-sugar making, profits were 
realized only in the more favorable seasons. Since the 
quality of beets has been so much improved, the industry 
has gained a foothold that places the raising of sugar- 
beets as one of the important phases of agricidture in 
many sections. As the success of the industry is so 
closely related to the quality of beets, everybody con- 
nected with their raising or the manufacture of sugar from 
them is interested in conditions that afiPect quality. 


In choosing desirable types of beets, several definite 
ideas should be kept in mind. Chief attention must be 
given to high sugar-content combined with high yield. 
These two characters are somewhat antagonistic, yet 
neither can be neglected. The end sought is the highest 
acre-yield of sugar. At the same time, it is desirable to 
have beets of a size and shape that can be harvested and 
handled at the lowest possible labor cost to the farmer as 
well as beets from which the manufacturer can extract 


206 The Sugar-Beet in Ameriea 

the sugar efficiently. This calls for beets of a high- 
yieldiug strain, high in sugar and purity, and having a 
desirable size and shape. 

The qualities of good beets are sununarized by New- 
lands 1 as follows (cf . Plate XXTV) : 

" 1. They have a regular pear-shaped form and smooth 
skin. Long, tapering carrot-like roots are considered 
inferior to pear-^shaped Silesian beets. 

" 2. They do not throw out forks, or fingers or toes. 

''3. They have white and firm fiesh, delicate and uni- 
form structure, and clean sugary fiavor. Thick-skinned 
roots are frequently spongy, and always more watery 
than beets distinguished by a uniform firm and close 

^'4. They weigh, on an average, one and one-half to 
two and one-half pounds apiece. Neither very large nor 
very small roots are profitable to the sugar manufacturer. 
As a rule, beets weighing more than three and one-half 
pounds are watery and poor in sugar; and very small 
roots, weighing less than three-fourths of a pound, are 
either unripe or too woody, and in either case yield com- 
paratively little sugar. As the soil and season have a 
great influence on the composition of the crop, it is quite 
possible, in a favorable season, and with proper culti- 
vation, to produce beets weighing over four pounds, which, 
nevertheless, yield a good percentage of sugar. Speaking 
generally, good beet roots in average seasons seldom ex- 
ceed two and one-:half poimds in weight. 

"5. Grood beets show no tendency to become necky, 

^ Newlands, J. A. R. and B. £. R., ** Sugar, a Handbook for 

Planters and Refiners,*' p. 395. 

PiuiTB XXIV. — Above, well-shaped beets ; cenUr, beets of poor shape ; 
Buc^h beets grow on waMr-logged land and also result from itreat quan- 
tities of eoBTse manure in the soil ; below, three types of beeta ; b has 
a more desiiahle shape than a or c. 

Factors Affecting Quality of Beets 207 

and their tops are always smaller than those of iixferior 
beets. Coniwinder has shown that beets with large 
leaves are generally richer than those with smaller leaves^^ 
and he always prefers the former for seed. 

^'6. Good beet roots are considerably denser than water, 
and rapidly sink to the bottom of a vessel filled with 
water. The specific gravity of the roots affords a pretty 
good test of their quality, for the greater their specific 
gravity the richer they will be fomid in sugar as a rule. 
A still better test than the gravity of the root is the 
specific weight of the expressed juice. The juice of good 
roots has usually a density varying between 1.06 and 
1.07. When very rich in sugar the gravity of the juice 
rises above 1.07, even reaching 1.078 in English-grown 
roots, indicating over 14 per cent of crystallizable sugar. 
Juice poor in si^gar always has a density below 1.06. 

"7. In a well-cultivated soil, the roots grow entirely 
in the ground, and throw up leaves of moderate size. 
This tendency to bury itself in the soil is characteristic 
of good sugar beets, but it may be greatly frustrated in 
thin stony soil and in stiff clay resting on impervious 

Sugar-beets raised under irrigation do not conform 
entirely to the above standards, since there is a tendency 
for them to grow larger than when irrigation water is not 
applied; good beets are often much larger than New- 
lands' figures indicate. It must be remembered, how- 
ever, that very large beets are usually lower in sugar than 
the smaller ones. A definite correlation between size 
and sugar-content has been observed when other con- 
ditions are the same. 


The Sugar^Beet in Ameriea 


Climate is one of the most important agendes affect- 
ing the quality of beets. Wiley/ after several years of 

Tablb VI. — Table of Gbnbbal Avbbagbs of Agbicultubal 
AND Analytical Data fob i^hb Fivb Tbabs, 1900-1904 

Stations where IrrigaHon Wcls not Used 



SuoAB nr 




YniiD ram 


^^fc ■ — 1— 



June to 

May to 







Lezingtoii, Ky. • . 






WaBhington, D. C. 






Blaoksburg, Va.* 






Madison, Wis. . . 






Lafayette, Ind.* . . 






Ithaoa, N. T. . • . 






Ames, Iowa ' • . . 






Agrioultural College, 

MiQh.> .... 






Geneva, N. Y. . . 






StoHons t 

ohere Irrig 

ation W 

as Prad 


Logan, Utah * • . 






Pomona, Cal.^ . . 






Fort Collins, Colo.* 






» Wfley, H. W., U. 8. Dept. of Agr., Bur. of Chem. But. No. 96. 

* Data for 3 years. * Data for 4 yean. 
^ Data for 2 years. 

* 1904; data for Maroh to September. 

Factor 8 Affecting Qiudity of Beets 


experimentation, has pointed out how the weather, par- 
ticularly the temperature, affects the percentage of sugar 
in beets. In this connection, he shows that a high sugar- 
content usually indicates a high purity also. 

Tables VI and VII siunmarize the results of five years' 
experiments with sugar-beets raised imder widely dif- 
ferent climatic conditions in the United States. The 
author points out the fact that temperature, or, in other 

Tablb VII. — Gbnbral Avebagbs ov Mbteoboloqical Data 
(May to October) fob the Fiyb Tbabs, 1900-1904 

StaHana where Irrigatum Was not Used 


LexSngtont Ky. • • • . 
Washington, D. C. . . . 

Blaoksbtirg, Va 

Madison, Wis 

Lafayette, Ind 

Ithaoa, N. T 

Ames, Iowa 

Agrioultural College, Mich. 
Geneva, N. Y 



































Stations where Irrigation Was Practiced 

Logan, Utah ^ . . . 
Pomona, Cal.* . . 
Port Collins, Colo. » . 


Per Gent 













1 Three years' data. 

* Two years' data ; 1904 data for March to September. 


210 The Sugar-Beet in America 

words, latitude, is the most potent element of environ- 
ment in the production of beets rich in sugar. 

It has ah*eady been indicated in Chapter V that the 
soil does not have so great an effect as some other factors 
in modifying the percentage of sugar in the beet. It 
does, however, have some effect and it has a decided in- 
fluence on the size and shape of beets as well as on the 
purity of the juice. Headden ^ found that an excess of 
nitrates in the soil has a decidedly detrimental effect on 
the quality of beets. He ' showed earlier that the amount 
of ash in the beet is increased by the presence of alkali. 
Voorhees ' has pointed out that the kind of fertilizer and 
the time it is applied influence the sugar-beet. This has 
been discussed more fully in Chapter VI. It has often 
been observed that beets high in sugar have a lower 
percentage of ash than have poor beets. 

Soil moisture during the growing season is one of the 
most important factors influencing the quality of beets. 
This has been discussed in Chapter X on irrigation and 

There is a great difference in the quality of individual 
beets raised under the same conditions. This results from 
the ordinary variation found among all plants and animals. 
Part of this variation is due to heredity and is trans- 
missible, but part of it cannot be transmitted to its 
progeny. There is, of course, considerable difference in 
the quality of beets of different strains, the same as there 
is a variation in the amount of milk given by different 

» Headden, W. P., Colo. Exp. Sta., Bid. No. 183 (1912). 

* Headden, W. P., Colo. Exp. Sta., Bid. No. 46 (1898). 

* Voorhees, £. B., " FertUurairB,'; p. 344. 

Factors Affecting QualUy of Beets 211 

breeds of cows. The relation of breeding to quality is 
discussed rather fully in the next chapter. 

The storage of beets may have considerable effect on 
their quality^ although if they are stored properly the 
quality is not affected materially. A normal amount of 
respiration goes on in all beets ; hence there is a gradual 
loss of sugar. This may be slight if the temperature is 
near the freezing point; but it increases rapidly as the 
temperature rises. Claassen ^ says that the rate of res- 
piration does not seem to be affected by the percentage 
of sugar in the beets, but that it is much more rapid in 
unripe than in ripe beets. Breaking the beets into pieces 
and also any other mechanical injury tend to hasten 

Freezing does not seem to injure the quality of beets, 
particularly if they are allowed to thaw slowly. Re- 
peated freezmg and thawing, however, has a detrimental 
effect, especially if the beets are allowed to become warm 
between the freezings. Headden^ found that though 
simple freezing does not change the sugar-content of the 
beet, the distribution of the sugar is affected if only part 
of the beet is frozen. Sugar moves from the frozen to the 
unfrozen part. 

Drying increases the percentage of sugar in the beet, 
but the total amount is not increased ; in fact there is a 
loss of sugar when the beets are allowed to lose moisture. 
The purity is also reduced by drying. It is also more 
di£Eicult to extract sugar from wilted beets. The factory^ . 
as well as the fanner, loses when beets are allowed to Wiltl 

^ Claassen, H., "Beet Sugar Manufacture/' p. 8. 
* Headden, W. P., Colo. Exy, Sta., BtU. No. 46. 

212 The Sugar-Beet in America 

When beets have tabe stored before they can be sliced, 
the pile should be given as smooth a surface as possible 
in order to reduce the relative amount of surface exposed, 
and thereby reduce evaporation. It is neither necessary 
nor desirable to cover beets piled in this way when the 
piles are large. 



In obtaining sugar from the beet there are three dis- 
tinct enterprises: the production of seed, the raising of 
beets^ and the manufacturing of sugar from the beets. 
In America, only the last two have been given special 
attention; America has depended on Europe for seed. 
The time has now arrived to forge the third link in the 
chain necessary to make the American beet-sugar in- 
dustry secure. The uncertainty of a foreign supply of 
seed during war times, endangering an enterprise having 
a hundred million dollars invested, has demonstrated that 
all three phases of the industry must be developed at 


To say that good seed is desirable is simply to re-state 
one of the commonplaces of all sound agricultural teach- 
ing. In the case of sugar-beets, however, this doctrine 
has a special significance. All the reasons for good seed 
with any crop apply to beets; in addition the entire 
success of the industry depends on having seed that will 
produce beets of a standard quality. With wheat, if the 
quality of seed is poor, the worst that can happen is that 
tiie yield of the resulting crop may be reduced by a few 


214 The Sugar-Beel in America 

bushels. All the crop that is produced will serve the 
purpose for which it is raised. With beets, on the other 
hand, unless suflScient sugar is present to permit extract 
tion at a profit, the crop is practically valueless for sugar- 

The farmer and the sugar manufacturer are both in- 
terested in seed, for imless the ffkctory can be made to 
pay, the business will have to be discontinued and the 
farmer will not have a market for his crop. The interests 
of the sugar factory have been so great that it has taken 
charge of the seed situation and has assumed the responsi- 
bility of furnishing seed to farmers contracting to raise 
beets. The factory could better afford to give the farmers 
free seed that would produce good beets than to allow 
them to plant inferior seed, for the cost of seed is negli- 
gible in comparison to other costs. If two grades of seed 
were obtainable, one that would produce beets having 
14 per cent sugar and the other beets with 16 per cent 
with equal yield, it would pay the sugar company to take 
the better seed if it sold for a dollar a pound and the 
poorer seed could be secured for nothing. This shows 
how absolutely necessary it is to have nothing but the best 


From the farmer's point of view, seed that is high in 
germinating power is essential. The yield of beets to 
the acre is directly dependent on the rate of germination 
of the seed. With some other crops, such as wheat, if 
the stand is poor, this condition can be overcome in part 
by the plants stooling and producing many heads from a 

Production of Sugar-Beet Seed 215 

single seed. More than a hundred heads of wheat have 
been reported to come from a single seed. In this way 
the plant tends to use all the food and moisture that is 
available in the soil even with a comparatively thin stand. 
Beets have no such power to make up for a thin stand. 
The roots may be somewhat larger where they are not 
crowded; but if many of the seeds fail to germinate, it 
is impossible to secure a satisfactory yield. If there are 
blank spaces in the beet rows, the yield will be reduced 
by just that much. For this reason it is important to 
make careful germination tests of every lot of seed that 
is offered for sale. Particularly is this true of seed that 
is stained and dark in color, indicating that it has been wet. 


Until the last few years, practically all of the sugar- 
beet seed used m America was imported from Europe. 
This was not because it could not be raised in America, 
but because foreign seed could be obtained at a low price 
and it was much less trouble to secure it in this way than 
to produce it at home. The sugar companies arranged 
for the seed ; they were in the business of making sugar 
and not of producing seed; hence they took the line of 
least resistance and purchased the seed where it could be 
obtained easiest. For this reason, a home seed industry 
was never developed. This method of procuring seed 
was satisfactory as long as everything went well, but it 
had its decided disadvantage. 

The seed requirements of the United States for the 
next few years probably will reach nearly 15,000,000 


The Sugar-Beet in America 

pounds a year. For a number of years, in the neighbor- 
hood of 10,000,000 pounds of seed have been used annually. 
Prior to 1911, practically all this seed came from Germany, 
Austria-Hungary, Russia, and France. Since that time 
the home production has grown, and since 1914, when the 
European war made it impossible to depend on the old 
supply, the industry has developed very rapidly in 
America. Palmer ^ states that 90 per cent of all the beet 
seed used in the world is produced in Germany and Russia ; 
69 per cent is from Grerman-grown seed ; and 78 per cent 
of all the beet-sugar produced outside of Russia and 
Grermany is from (Jerman-grown seed. 

The amount of seed produced in the United States in 
1916 and 1917 is given by the Department of Agriculture ' 
as follows : 

Tablb VIXI. — Sugab-Bbbt Sbbd Pboducbd in the Unitbd 


Bawn Gbown roB Sno 



1917 ( 



Plt>duotion of 

at 1 



Production of 

California, Idaho, Utah . 
Colorado, Kansas, Mon- 
tana, Nebraska . . . 
Michigan and Ohio . . 



















1 PiRlmer, T. G., "Sugar Beet Seed" (1918), p. 101. 
* MofUhly Crop Report, Deoember, 1917, p. 128. 

Production of Sugar-Beet Seed 217 

These figures show that between a third and a half of 
the seed required was produced in the country during 
1916 and 1917. Considerable of the remainder came 
from Russia through Siberia. Since the reserves of seed 
stored in the country have gradually decreased, it will 
be necessary to rely entirely on the home supply until 
seed can be obtained from Europe. ] 


The importation of seed is attended by many disad- 
vantages. In the first place, the entire beet-sugar in- 
dustry is threatened in times of war, when, for any reason, 
it would be impossible to import seed. This condition 
cannot fail to detract to a great extent from the stability 
of the industry. Perhaps the most important disad- 
vantage of imported seed is that the breeding has been 
done for conditions unlike those in which the beets are 
to be raised. Since the climate and soils of Europe are 
different from those of the beet-growing sections of the 
United States, there is doubtless a great loss in yield and 
sugar-content due to the foreign seed not being entirely 
suited to local conditions. When the source of supply 
is not near at hand, there is likely to be di£Sculty in ad- 
justing any little business differences, which at times may 
become annoying. In times of scarcity of good seed, 
there is also a likelihood that the best will be held in 
Europe for home-planting and inferior seed sent to 

Tests made at Schuyler, Nebraska, as early as 1893, 
gave better yields of beets with higher sugar-content 


The Sugaf'Beet in America 

from domestic than from imported seed. The same result 
has been obtained in many other places since that time. 
At the Utah Experiment Station/ tests were made to 
compare imported seed with that produced on the Station 
farm. The results given for imported seed represent the 
average of seed received from a number of foreign seed 
companies. In all cases, it was represented to be superior 
seed. The home-grown seed is from strains raised at the 
Experiment Station for ten years : 

Tablb IX. — Com PABIBON of. Bests Raised vbou Imported 
AND FBOM Utah Expebiment Station Seed 

Utah Sud 

Imfobtbd Sbbd 


in Beets 

Yield Beete 
Tons per Acre 

Per Cent Sugar 
in Beets 

Yield Beets 

Tons per 


1912 . . . 

1913 . . . 

1914 . . . 






The table shows that although the beets from home- 
grown seed were higher in sugar-content in each of the 
years than the beets from imported seed, the yield was 
somewhat higher for the imported seed. 

(Termination tests were conducted to compare the im- 
ported and the home-grown seed with the following result 
expressed in number of sprouts to 100 seed-balls: Im- 
ported seed — a, 53 ; 6, 79 ; and c, 124 ; the average of 
six samples of home-grown seed was 126. Since each 

1 Harris, F. S., Utah Exp. Sta., Bui. No. 136 (1915). 

Production of Sugar-Beet Seed 219 

seed-ball contains a number of genns, there are often 
more sprouts than seed-balls. It will be noted that of 
the three samples of foreign seed, not one was equal to 
the home-grown seed m germmating power. 

The climate of the irrigated section of the West seems 
well adapted to the production of sugar-beet seed. The 
use of irrigation to control the soil moisture and the warm 
dry weather during the season when seed is growmg make 
an almost ideal combination. In the sixteen years since 
the Utah Experiment Station began raising sugar-beet 
seed> there has not been a single failure. 


America has produced no distinct varieties or types of 
sugar-beets. An examination of almost any commercial 
field reveals a great diversity in shape and manner of 
growth. Some roots are long and of small diameter; 
others are short and turnip-like. The tops vary from 
erect plants with big leaves to plants with small leaves 
spreading out near the ground. These conditions show 
a great admixture of strains. 

All of the sugar-beets belong to the same botanical 
species, Beta vulgaris. The differences have arisen from 
selection of special characters and have given rise to 
variation in shape, color, and size of beet, amount had 
manner of growth in foliage, as well as in sugar-content 
and yield. Selections were always made to improve the 
beet, and these selections resulted in considerable variation 
in appearance. Trade names have been given to the 
various types. Among the most common are : Vilmorin^ 

220 The Sugar-Beel in America 

Klemwanzlebener, Excelsior, Imperial, Simon-Legrand, 
Florimond, Bultean-Desprez Richest, Schrieber, Heine^ 
Brabant Demesnial, Electoral Elite, Imperator. The 
two first*named varieties are most widely known in this 

If America is to establish a permanent sugar-beet-seed 
industry, one of the first steps will be the production of 
strains of beets suited to the needs of the country. With- 
out doubt, some of the better European strains will fur- 
nish the basis for selection. In any event the work should 
be seriously undertaken and continued as long as necessary. 
This will require many years of careful work, but the re- 
turns probably will justify all the work that is done. 


The fact that the seed-ball contains several germs, 
each of which may produce a beet plant, makes the work 
of thinning laborious. Even though the seeds are scat- 
tered at intervals in the row, the young plants are found 
in such clusters that the extra plants can be removed 
successfully only by hand. This means that the niunber 
of acres of beets a farmer can raise is usually limited by 
the amount of help he can secure at thinning time. It 
also means that the expense of thinning is high. 

These conditions led the United States Department of 
Agriculture, in the early days of the beet-sugar industry, 
to conduct rather extensive experiments on the breeding 
of strains of beets producing seed-balls that contained 
but one germ. Though some progress was made, the 
results were not altogether satisfactory and the work was 

PiATK XXV. — Abme, pedigreed augHr-beets. Utah Experiment Sta- 
tion ; center. ailOB for storine mother beets over winter ; btUmi, stecklinge 
being taken from the bUo to the field for planting. 


Production of Sugar-Beet Seed 221 

abandoned. Whether or not the single-germ beet seed 
is practical) only the future can demonstrate. There can 
be no doubt, however, about the desirability of having 
^eed of this kind. 


There are two distinct phases to the sugar-beet-seed 
business: (1) the breeding of desirable strains, and 
(2) the commercial production of seed. This is true to 
an extent in every branch of plant and animal production. 
The man who is engaged in that phase of dairying which 
deals with commercial milk production may be entirely 
dependent on some breeder of dairy stock for his cows; 
likewise, the man who is breeding some new and desirable 
type of plant may not be interested in the general seed 
trade. The ordinary individual farmer probably will 
never take an important part in breeding sugar-beets; 
he may, however, engage in the commercial production 
of sugar-beet seed, using as his start "mother seed" that 
has been produced by a professional breeder. 

Chemical test of mothers. 

The breeding of sugar-beets is not so simple as that of 
most other crops, the quality of which can usually be 
determined by examination. With beets, the important 
factor, the sugar-content, can be determined only after 
making a chemical analysis. Some selection of beets 
has been made by specific gravity as determined in a 
brine solution. This method, while it indicates to a 
certain extent the amount of sugar, is so inexact that it 

222 The Sugar^Beet in America 

finds very little use. In the standard method of selection 
the chemical analysis is used. 

The beet to be tested is cleaned and the sample to be 
analyzed is obtained by boring a hole diagonally through 
the beet near the thickest point in such a way that the 
various zones of high and low sugar will be represented. 
A given weight of the pulp obtained from the boring is 
placed in a dish and the sugar extracted by any one of a 
number of methods. The solution containing the sugar 
is then placed in a tube which is inserted in a polariscope 
by aid of which the percentage is read directly. The 
process is not difficult, but it requires skill in laboratory 
manipulation and is not adapted to use by the average 
farmer. Removing the core does not interfere with the 
growth of the beet if it is stored properly. 

Steps in selection. 

It is not safe to save all beets that are high in sugar 
without making further tests to see which ones transmit 
this quality. The individual beet may be high in sugar 
because of its environment and may not be of a high- 
producing strain. For this reason, several years of selec- 
tion are required before one can be sure of quality of 
seed that will be produced. It is not the mother beet 
with high sugar-content that is desired, but the mother 
whose progeny will be high in sugar. In testing strains, 
it is a good plan to have for comparison standard seed 
for growing in different parts of the test field. 

The procedure usually carried out is somewhat as 
follows: The first year a great many beets of desirable 
size and shape are analyzed for sugar. The better in- 

Production of Sugar^Beet Seed 22S 

dividual beets are siloed ; the second year these are planted 
separately and the resulting beets analyzed. From this 
analysis it is possible to determine which of the original 
beets with a high sugar-content are able to transmit to 
their progeny this necessary quality. The poor strains 
are discarded and the good ones siloed, to be used the 
fourth year in producing the " mother seed." . The mother 
seed is planted the fifth year and the beets obtained from 
it produce the commercial seed the sixth year. The part 
of the work requiring skill and patience is the obtaining 
of dependable mother seed. 

In planting beets from which the commercial seed is 
produced) the roots are left considerably closer together 
in the rows than when regular beets are to be raised. 
About eight pounds of seed are used to the acre and the 
plants are not thinned in the ordinary way. Sometimes 
the plants are thinned to three or four inches apart in 
the row and sometimes they are left unthinned. This 
method is used in order to save labor in handling the 
beets. Less storage space is required for the small beets 
than for those of full size. Being small does not seem to 
reduce materially the amount of seed produced. These 
small beets are called ^^stecklinge." Beets that are 
large are sometimes split lengthwise into two or three 
pieces, each of which will grow if part of the live buds in 
the crown are retained. 



One of the most important operations in connection 
with seed production is the storing over winter, or siloing, 

224 The Sugar-Beet in Amerioa 

of the beets that are to be used the next year in raising 
seed. At the Utah Station several methods of siloing 
have been tested; a number of these have given good 
satisfaction. The important precautions to be kept in 
mind are that the beets must not be allowed to dry, to 
freeze, or to heat. Sufficient ventilation must be pro- 
vided to allow the carbon dioxid produced by normal 
respiration to escape and at the same time not enough 
to dry the beets. Sufficient covering must be given to 
prevent freezing, but not enough to cause heating. 

Beets stored in moist sand kept better than by any 
other method used, although this method is not practical 
except for the comparatively few mother beets that have 
been individually analyzed and are more likely to decay 
on account of the wound caused when the core is removed 
for analysis. 

For the great nimiber of beets used in producing com- 
mercial seed, perhaps the best way is to silo them in the 
field. This is done by piling the b^ts on top of the ground 
or in a shallow trench in ricks four or five feet wide, and 
then covering them with soil. Only a light covering is 
given at first and more is added as the weather becomes 
cooler. In very cold weather manure on top of the silo 
is helpful. 

Ventilators should be placed in the ricks every few feet 
to allow carbon dioxid to escape and fresh air to enter. 
Less ventilation is necessary if the remainder of the silo 
is left open a few weeks after the beets are placed in it. 
If a long rick is made, the beets should be divided every 
twelve or fifteen feet in order that if decay begins at any 
point it will not destroy all the beets in the silo. Before 

Production of Sugar-Beet Seed 225 

placing the beets in the silo it is a good plan to remove the 
tops, leaving enough of the crown and tops to permit 
growth to begin the next spring. If mother beets are 
allowed to wilt before they are planted, the yield of seed 
is greatly reduced. Likewise, if they are not put into the 
silos fresh, the keeping quality is not so good. Beets to 
be siloed should usually be left in the fields as long as 
possible before digging, keeping in mind the injiuy that 
may result from frost. 

The methods of siloing vary considerably with the in- 
tensity of the winter cold. In some climates beets live 
over winter in the field and will produce seed without 
bemg dug and sQoed. This is not the case, however, in 
most of the best seed-producing sections. The tempera- 
ture of the beets in the silo should be taken at intervals 
during the winter to serve as a guide to the amount of 
covering needed. 

PlarUing mother beets. 

The stecklinge can be planted considerably earlier in 
the spring than the best seed, since the old beets are not 
as sensitive to frost as are seedlings. It is probably need- 
less to say that the land should have been plowed deeply. 
Experiments with a number of methods of planting and 
distances between plants have been made and the follow- 
ing method adopted as a result : 

The land is marked each way about thirty inches apart 
and a beet dropped at each crossing of the marks. The 
best distance apart will, of course, depend on conditions. 
A long spade is pushed into the ground and the beet put 
in behind or in front of the spade when it is moved for- 


226 The Sugar^Beet in America 

ward. It is important to plant the beets well below the 
surface of the soil. The crown should be covered with 
a small quantity of soil to protect the budding top. The 
rows being the same distance apart each way, the culti- 
vator can be nm in two directions and much hand labor 
thereby saved. In many cases no attempt is made to 
provide for two-way cultivation; the beets are merely 
planted every twenty to thirty inches apart in rows that 
are about three feet apart. Sometimes a furrow is made 
with a plow or deep cultivator and the beets planted in 

The South Dakota Station^ reports using a machine 
for transplanting beets in 1916. It was an adapted 
planter similar to those used in transplanting tobacco; 
it was also used in transplanting alfalfa roots. ''This is 
a two-wheeled machine with one shovel to open the 
fiuTows, two boxes to hold the beets and three seats, one 
for the driver and two for the beet droppers. Wings draw 
the dirt around the beets as they are dropped. A pair of 
rollers to firm the dirt ground the beets would make a 
great improvement. About two or two and a half acres 
a day was the rate achieved in the trials." It seems 
probable that some machine will be devised to reduce the 
great amount of hand labor required in planting mother 

Care of seed crop during growth 

When seed is raised under irrigation, it seems advisable 
to apply water very soon after the beets are planted in 

1 Shephard, J. H., 8o%Uh Dakota Exp, Sta^ Bvl. No. 173. 
(1917), p. 616. 


Production of Sugar-Beet Seed 227 

order that the soil may be firmed aromid the roots and 
also to insure an early starting of growth. Two or three 
additional irrigations are usually ample to mature the 
seed crop. The soil should have sufficient moisture while 
the seed is forming. Early cultivation is desirable to 
keep weeds in check as they are much more easily killed 
at this time. After the seed-stalks become too large, it 
is difficult to get through the field with a cultivator ; un- 
less weeds have been kept in check up to this time, they 
may prove troublesome and may need to be removed by 
hand. In any case, late hoeing may be desirable. 

Harvesting and threshing. (Plate XXVI.) 

Since the seed does not ripen evenly, it is necessary to 
go over the field and cut some of the plants before all are 
ripe. This is not practical when seed is raised on a large 
scale. The ripening period may extend over a number of 
weeks. The cuttmg is done with a sickle and the seed- 
stalks piled in the field to dry before threshing. It 
usually pays to go over the field after harvest with a brush 
and dustpan to glean seed that has fallen to the ground in 
cutting. Threshing can be performed with an ordinary 
grain thresher with the speed retarded, special screens, 
and certain adjustments. Special threshers may also be 
procured. From fifteen to twenty tons of seed can be 
threshed in a day. 

After the seed is threshed, some dirt and stems always 
remain. These are best removed by running the seed 
over a revolving canvas, which allows the seed to roll off 
and at the same time carries the stems away. The dirt 
and chaff are removed with a fanning mill before the seed 

228 The Sutgar-Beet in America 

is run over the canvas. The seed-cleaning machines may 
be purchased, or one may be made at home for about 
$100. A good machine wiU clean about a ton of seed ma 


After the seed crop is harvested, the beets and part of 
the stems and leaves still remain in the field. The beets 
contain considerable sugar, although much less than at 
first. They have, however, acquired a woody texture 
that renders them much less palatable to stock than the 
fresh beets. A number of cases have been reported of 
animals dying as a result of accumulated balls of this 
fibrous material in the digestive tract when fed too many 
of these beets. They have been used in many other cases 
without any apparent ill effects. The method of utiliz- 
ing these beets most economically is not known, but it 
is probable that the cheapest way is to have stock pasture 
on these old roots directly in the field similar to hogging- 
off com. They can be used safely and economically in 
this way to supplement other feeds. 

Yields and profits. 

The amount of seed produced varies greatly under dif- 
ferent conditions. If all the plants give a normal yield, 
the amount of seed that would be expected theoretically 
would be several times the yield actually realized in 
practice. One of the chief causes for this is that a large 
number of the plants never send up seed-stalks, but 
throughout the smnmer merely develop a dense growth 
of leaves. 

Production qf Sugar-Beet Seed 



At the Utah Station tests running for nine years gave 
the following yield of seed from the individual plants : 

Table X. — Average Weight of Seed Pboduced bt Mother 




AyasAGB WnoBT of 
Sbbd pbb Bbbt (graiiui)> 












Average . . . 


An acre of land contains about 7000 mother beets. If 
each one produced as much as the average reported above, 
nearly 7000 pounds of seed to the acre might be expected. 
This, however, is not approached in practice. The yield 
is usually between 1000 and 2000 pounds to the acre. A 
yield greater than 2000 pounds is exceptional. The 
average yield of seed for the United States for 1916 and 
1917 was about 1100 pounds to the acre. 

The fields of commercial seed raised by the Utah Ex- 
periment Station at Logan have given the following yields 
during the years 1912 to 1917 inclusive : 

^ There are 453 grams in one pomid. 


The Sttgar^Beet in America 

Tabud XI. — TiSLD TO THE AcRx OF SugabpBbbt Sbbd, Loqan, 



Pounds ov Bbbt Sbbd to thb Acbb 














At a price of fifteen cents a pound for the seed, the re- 
turn for an acre is $219.15. 

The cost of producing this seed varies so much with 
conditions that definite figures are almost useless, but the 
following figures for cost are suggestive : 

Tablb XII. — Estimated Cost of Raising One Acre of 

SnoABrBsET Seed 

Bent of land (value $250 an acre) . . . . S 20.00 

Plowing and preparing land 5.00 

Hauling steoklinge from silo and planting . 15.00 

Cultivating and irrigating 6.00 

Hoeing 2.00 

Cutting seed 5.00 

Threshing and cleaning 15.00 

Cost of mother seed and steoklinge .... 40.00 

Total $108.00 

A comparison of these figures for cost with the price 
obtained for seed shows that a good profit may be made. 
This profit, taken with the fact that domestic seed is better 
than the imported, surely justifies the establishment of a 
sugar-beet-seed industry in America. 



No phase of the beet-sugar industry is more elusive 
than the cost of producing beets. The costs involved in 
slicing the beets, extracting the sugar, evaporating the 
juice, and handling the sugar can be determined with 
considerable accuracy; under normal conditions, these 
manufacturing processes are fairly constant in their cost. 
The cost of raising beets, on the other hand, is exceed- 
ingly variable from field to field and from year to year. 
Cost determinations are usually made on the basis of an 
acre of beets; but a much more useful figure would be 
the cost of a ton of beets, or even better, the beet-cost 
entering into a hundred pounds of sugar. The costs 
reported thus far have been worked out largely from the 
standpoint of the dollar basis. They have been arrived 
at without making a detailed study of the hours of man 
and horse labor that enter into the production of the crop 
or without including in every case definite information 
with reference to other items of cost that form a part of 
the account. 



The permanency of the beet-sugar industry in any 
couutry depends on the ability of farmers to produce 


232 The Sugar^Bed in America 

beets at a low cost. In unusual times and when sugar is 
scarce and high priced, it may be manufactured at a 
profit even if the beets are not raised in an efficient manner 
and if the cost of production is high; but if conditions 
throughout the world become balanced, beet-sugar will 
not be able to compete with cane-sugar, even though the 
former may enjoy a limited protection. The life of the 
industry depends on the efficiency of the beet farmer, who 
should seek in every way to reduce costs rather than to 
increase them. The process of extracting sugar from beets 
has reached a high state of perfection. The farmer should 
try to make his methods equally perfect. 

The constant friction between the farmer and the sugar 
company regarding the price of beets causes the farmer 
to make his costs seem as high as possible, whereas the 
manufacturer wants them to be low. This leads to con- 
siderable discrepancy in estimates of costs and makes it 
more difficult to determine actual costs. The profit- 
sharing plans for paying for beets, which are being dis- 
cussed more each year, will necessitate definite cost figures 
being obtained, not only for the making of sugar, but also 
for the raising of beets. Farmer and manufactiu'er alike 
should be interested in keeping the cost of both phases of 
the industry as low as possible in order that each may 
obtain the greatest profit. 

Practically the entire world's supply of sugar under 
normal conditions comes from countries such as Cuba, 
Java, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, and Russia, 
where labor is much cheaper than in the United States. 
If we are to produce sugar in competition, it is essential 
that our labor be made as efficient as possible by the use of 

Cost of Producing Beds 233 

machinery and the application of scientific methods to 
the farm. It will also be necessary to raise sugar-beets 
in the parts of the country best adapted to their growth. 
It is on the farm that this greater efficiency must be 
sought, since the price paid for the beets is the chief item 
of expense involved in the cost of beet-sugar. 


It is often asserted that beet producers are receiving 
abnormal profits for their crops ; and about equally often 
the beet-growers contend that there is no profit in raising 
beets, or that if all costs were considered the crop is 
ordinarily produced at a loss. Data to prove either con- 
tention can be gathered from both large and small farms. 
In some communities only a very few farmers can pro- 
duce beets at a profit when the average for a number of 
years is taken. Naturally, in such places, beets become 
unpopular and conclusive results can be given to show 
that beets are unprofitable; in a more favored locality, 
the opposite can be shown as readily. 

It is highly desirable to find unbiased results that will 
show the true condition for the sugar-beet producers of 
the country as a whole, for each locality, and for each 
individual farm. At present such data have not been 
determined satisfactorily. Much valuable material has 
been compiled to show the costs, but since many factors 
are unfortunately left out of most of these compilations, 
they do not represent the true cost. Results in this re- 
gard, as reported from experiments on a small scale, 
generally show high yields and a high labor cost, indicat- 

234 The Sugar-Beel in America \ 

ing that more care has been taken than could be reasonably 
expected in ordinary farm practice. Often such costs as 
land rent and depreciation of machinery are omitted 
entirely. Estimates from farmers are usually unsatis* 
factory because very few keep accurate accounts of the 
various small items. Reports from farmers^ in order to 
be reliable^ must be taken systematically and carefully, 
and the number of farmers interviewed must be large if 
error is to be reduced to a minimiun. 

Except for general study, it is imperative that all con* 
ditions be given in order that a true interpretation can 
be made, since cost of labor, nature of soil, efficiency in 
work, thoroughness of method, and numerous other 
factors vary so much that general estimates are of little 
value. Many of the figures available are for only one 
season, and it is well known that costs and yields vary 
greatly with the year. 


When averages of a large number of growers are taken, 
the cost of producing beets is nearly equal to the price 
received for them, all factors being considered. A slight 
profit would be expected if the true averages were available, 
because in general the farmers of the older beet-growing 
sections consider the crop worth while. The profitable- 
ness of a crop is usually indicated by the readiness with 
which the farmers grow it ; and farmers are usually glad 
to raise beets. 

The Federal Trade Commission in 1917 made a ''Re- 
port on the Beet Sugar Industry in the United States." 

Coat qf Producing Beets 235 

This 8tudy covered practically every beet-producing 
section in the United States. Estimated costs were ob- 
tained from many farmers in each district. These are 
summarized by states in Fig. 28. Since the data were 
carefully collected and compiled, they may be considered 

P^o. 28. — DiBgrain o) coats involved In producing nigar-beeti in 
various atatefl. {Compiled from Report of the FederiJ Trade Conunis- 
■ion, May 24, 1917.) 

to be approximately correct for the districts and for the 
costs during that year (1913) at least. The figure shows 
the cost, including the following items: soil preparation, 
hand labor, planting and cultivating, lifting and hauling, 
fertilizing, seed, and irrigation ; but it omits the rental 
value of the land and depreciation of madiinery, ditches, 
fences, and the like. The item of land rent is important 
in con^dering cost of production, for it is ordinarily hoay 
one-sixth to one-fourth of the value of the crop. That the 

236 The Sugar^Beet in America 

value of the farms studied in this survey were above the 
ordinary beet land is seen from the fact that the yields 
reported average in the neighborhood of one-third 
higher than the yields for states as reported from other 

In addition to the rental cost, there should be added 
from 3 to 10 per cent of the costs mentioned for taxes, 
depreciation on machinery, and other incidentals. Then 
about 6 or 7 per cent of the cost as given should be added 
to account for crop failures or acreages not harvested, 
if the true cost is to be found. Keeping this in mind when 
studying the gross returns from the crop and the yield to 
the acre represented in columns two and three of the chart, 
it will be seen that beets on the better class of land in 
most of the states yield a profit under normal conditions. 
It is evident, however, that the true net returns are not 
so great as one is sometimes led to believe from incom- 
plete costs. The cost data are not complete enough to 
draw satisfactory conclusions, because we do not know 
whether the land represented in the high-producing states 
— Utah, Idaho, California, and Colorado — was on the 
200- to 300-dollar-an-acre land that rents for fifteen to 
twenty dollars an acre each year, or whether the low- 
producing states represented the 100- to 200-dollar-an- 
acre land drawing a rent of six to ten dollars an acre. 
But it appears that the profit to the acre from the crop 
increases rather strikingly as the yield increases above a 
minimum point. The larger yields in the West permit 
more care to be given economically to the crop as the 
yield increases; or rather, the high wages and other 
» U. S. Dept. of Agn. Yearbook (1913), p. 447. 

Cost of Producing Beets 237 

costs in the West can be paid because the yields are high 
enough to cover them, and still leave a profit. 

The results are interesting in that they show the re- 
lation of yield to the various factors of production in the 
diflferent localities, although it should be remembered 
that climatic and soil factors are much more important 
in determining the profitableness of beets than is labor. 
The cultural practices, except special operations such as 
irrigation, are thought, on an average, not to differ so 
widely in the different states as do wages. It will be 
noticed that the costs of hand labor and lifting and hauling 
the beets vary somewhat according to yield and that the 
greatest variations are in the cost of lifting and hauling. 
Since the cost of harvesting is known to constitute from 
one-fifth to one-third of the total cost of growing beets, 
this is to be expected. This increases somewhat with 
the yield. 



By arranging the data from the above survey in Table 
XIII, according to the number of acres of beets grown, it 
is found that the acreage of beets has but little influence 
on the cost of production, farms with only a few acres of 
beets producing them as economically as those with over 
a hundred acres. Farm surveys in general show that the 
larger farms up to a certain point are the more efficient ; 
this is thought to hold good with beet farms as well as 
others. A survey in Utah indicated that the proportion 
of the land devoted to beets increased as the profitable- 


°f -J 

a; CD E 


■ ■ M 


rie Sugar-Beet in America 


o ji (. 










■<H o tn O "? Q O Q lO o ^ 

Cost of Producing Beets 


ness of the farm decreased, but the acres of beets grown 
increased as the profitableness of the farm increases. 
Therefore, the only conclusion that may be drawn from 
these data is that both good and poor farmers grow large 
and small acreages of beets. It is regretted that the rental 
value of the land was not taken in the survey, because 
this, it is thought, would modify considerably the results 
on this point, as the size of the farms varied considerably 
in the different districts and the rental value would have 
varied in the same way. I .? 

Moorhouse^ and his associates in the Office of Farm 
Management, United States Department of Agriculture, 
have obtained some interesting figures on the relation of 
acreage and yield to costs. The results are given in 
Tables XIV and XV. 

These figures show that in each of the areas under in- 
vestigation the yield to the acre exerted a very important 
influence on the cost of producing a ton of beets. 

Table XIV. — Relation of Acreage and Yield per Acre 
TO Cost per Acre and per Ton. Utah and Idaho 


10 Tons ob Lbss 

11 to 15 ToKS 

Id Tons and Ovbb 












10 acres or less 

11 to 20 acres 

21 acres and over 









^ Correspondence with the author. Also see U. 8. Dept, of 
Agr,, Bui. No. 693 for additional fissures. 


The Sugar-Beet in America 

Table XV. — Relation of Acbeaoe and Yield pee Acre 
TO Cost peb Acre and peb Ton. Colobado 

10 acres or lees 

11 to 20 acres . 
21 to 40 acres 
41 acres and over 


10 Tons ob Less 









11 TO 15 Tom 

o a 







16 Tons avd Ovn 

o 8 






The relation between size of farm, area of beets planted, 
and labor income on 276 Utah farms is shown in Table 
XVI. The table shows that the labor income of farmers 
raising sugar-beets is higher than that of farmers not 
raising them. This is probably due as much to secondary 
profits, discussed in Chapter XII, as to direct returns 
from beets. On the average the yield was slightly higher 
on the medium-sized farms than on the very large or the 
very small ones. 


Because the prices paid for labor vary so much in dif- 
ferent regions, it is impossible to give money costs that 
apply to all conditions. The length of time required in 
performing the various operations should be approxi- 
mately the same. This offers a means of securing definite 
figures which may be computed for each region by using 
the price of man and horse labor that prevails. 







■ T 



C(M( qf Producing Beeta 



£ ^ IS IS io 









The Sugar-Beel in America 

Peck/ in Minnesota, has made a rather careful study of 
the cost of producing beets in that state, which unfortu- 
nately does not represent an important beet-producing 
area. Figs. 29, 30. Table XVII, taken from his work, 
gives the total man hours to produce an acre of beets 
as 155.4 and the horse hours as 110.7. The time spent 
on the various operations is also shown : 

Tablb XVII. — Labor Rbqxtibbicbnts fob Producing Suoar- 




HouBs pas AoBB 








Seeding ...... 


Bunching and thinning 
Hoeing . . . 
Pulling and topping . . 






























1 Peek, F. W., "The Coat of Producing Sugar Beets," Minn. 
Exp. Sta,, Bui. No. 154 (1916). 

* Not contract labor. On an average the land was disked 
2.4 times; harrowed, 2.3 times ; cultivated, 5.2 times ; and hoed, 
1.4 times. 

Coat of Producing BeeU 


Mendelson^ reports as follows results of a hearing 
before the United States Food Administration at Fort 
Morgan, Colorado, in 1918, on the work required in 
raising sugar-beets : 

Fio. 20. — Man labor on nigar-beete. (F. W. Peck.) 

^'SjMreading manure. Two men, fom* horses, and 
spreader will spread 20 beet boxes of manure on two 
acres in one day. 

"Crowning cUfalfa (once in 4 years). One man and 
five horses will crown three and one-half acres per day. 

"Harrowing the crowning tuoice (once in 4 years). One 
man and three horses will harrow twenty acres per day. 

"Floating the crowning (once in 4 years). One man 
and four horses will float 15 acres per day. 

^ Mendelson, H., *' A Day's Work,!! Sugar^ Vol 20, p. 140 
(April, 1918). 

244 The Stigar-Beet in America 

"Plowing. One man aod five horses will plow two 
acres per day. 

"Harrowing. Ooe man and three horses will harrow 
^xteen acres per day. 

"Floating. One man and four horses will float 10 acres 
per day. 

Pia. 30. — DigtributiaD of mot of nigsr-beet produotioD. (F. W. PMk.) 

"Planting. One man and two horses will plant nine 
acres per day. 

"Rolling. One man and two horses will roll 14 acres 
per day. 

"CvUivating. One man and two horses will cultivate 
eight acres per day. 

"Furrowing. One man and two horses will furrow 15 
acres per day. 

"Irrigating. One man in twenty-four hours will irri- 
gate eight acres. 

Cost qf Producing Beets 


'' Plowing ovJt. One man and four horses will plow out 
2^- acres per day. 

"Hauling. One man and four horses will haul twelve 
tons per day. 

'' According to this schedule, the number of man and 
horse hours required per acre of beets for work done every 
year is as follows : 






Spreading manure 


Harrowing three times ... 

Floating two times 



Cultivating four times • . . 


Irrigating 2} times 

Plowmg out 

Hauling (12 tons) 




6.7 > 


2.2 1 







''In addition to this in the above schedule, it is calcu- 
lated that alfalfa is broken every fourth year, and that, 
therefore, one-fourth of the time required to break an 
acre of alfalfa should be charged against every year's 
beet crop. 

''The total work required to break an acre of alfalfa, 
according to this schedule, is as follows : 


The Sugar-Beet in America 

Mnr HovBs 


Crowning ..••••.. 

Harrowing twice 

Floating onoe 







'^ One-fourth of this is, 1.2 men hours and 5.1 horse 
hours. This added to the regular work gives 49.5 men 
hours and 136.3 horse hours. 

''This means that on a 25-acre patch of beets you will 
have to spend 1207.5 hours of work, or 120.75 working 
days of 10 hours, during a growing season for this work, 
and yom* horses will have performed 3410 hoiu^, or 341 
days of 10 hours each, or if you have 6 hor^s, each horse 
has averaged 57 days' work during the growing season 
on 25 acres of beets." 

L. A. Moorhouse ^ found the following for man and horse 
labor in producing one acre of beets : 

Tablb XVIII. — Infobmation Pebtainino to Pbacticb ani> 
Cost op Pboduction of Sugab-Beets. (1914-1915) 


No. of operators reporting 
No. of acres grown . . 
Yield to the acre . . . 
Hours of man labor . . 
Hours of horse labor . . 

Pbovo d»- 
TBiCT, Utah 


14.9 tons 

'Qablamd Dis- 
TBZCT, Utah 

14.8 tons 

Idaho Falls 




13.6 tons 


1 Correspondence with the author. 

Co9t of Prod/ucing Beets 247 

Commenting on this, Moorhouse says : "Labor was by 
far the most important item in this study. The total 
labor cost under the rates that prevailed in 1914-1915 
varied from $35.25 an acre to $40.18. These simis con- 
stituted from 54.4 to 58.3 per cent of the total cost of 

Although the different figures given above do not agree 
entirely, they are all suggestive and will be of assistance 
to any one who wishes to compute costs for his own neigh- 

The beet farmers and sugar companies of Utah and 
Idaho agreed on the following schedule for contract hand 
labor for each acre during 1918: Thinning, $8; first 
hoeing, $3; second hoeing, $2, — or $26 for all hand 
labor based on a twelve-ton crop with one dollar extra 
for each additional ton and seventy-five cents less for 
each ton decrease in yield. 


Blakey* has made rather extensive investigations of 
the cost of producing sugar based on reports of farmers, 
actual field tests, and work of the experiment stations. 
His findings are summed up in Table XIX. In the table 
he does not include the cost of land, rent, taxes, and the 
like, which would probably be between $15 and $20, 
making the total cost about $75. The figures are fairly 
accurate for the dates represented, but they are doubt- 
less too low for war-time prices of labor and materials. 

^ Blakey, R. G., **The United States Beet-Sugar Industry and 
the Tariff" (1912), pp. 113-140 and pp. 267-273. 


The Sugar^Beet in America 

Table XIX. — Costs of Growing Bbbts, Actual and Esti- 
mated (Blaket) 

Actual Crops 


AOB (Coix>- 



Normal. Ayrr- 

aqr attrr 


Labor costs 
Flowing: and preparation for same . 

Harrowing, leveling, etc 











Other costs 



Blacksmithing and repairs . . . 

Miscellaneous expenses 

Implement depreciation (estimated) 
Interest, crop investment (esti- 


Water rates 

Management and supervision (esti- 


Rent on land, taxes, etc 










! Does not include rent, interest on money invested in land, 
or taxes. However, this expenditure would produce more than 
the present normal yield for the country. 

Co9t of Producing Beets 249 

In many districts farmers maintain that the cost of 
producing an acre of beets is over $100. This is prob- 
ably much more than the farmer ordinarily spends, and 
includes every expenditure that would be made in pro- 
ducing a maximum crop. The farmer does not of course 
conmionly go to this amount of trouble and expense ; he 
is usually satisfied to do a moderate amount of work and 
to secure an acre-yield somewhere near the average. 

No accurate fiigures have been compiled for the cost of 
producing a ton of beets or for producing the beets neces- 
sary to make one hundred pounds of sugar. This phase 
of the cost of beet production deserves more attention on 
the part of students of beet-sugar economics. 



In considering the value of the beet-sugar industry to 
the community, the indirect benefits of raising beets, as 
well as the direct value of the crop, should be considered. 
Those who have made a careful study of the subject are 
agreed that the introduction of sugar-beets into the 
agriculture of a region results m good in many ways. 
In the European countries where beet raising has seen 
its greatest development, agriculture has a stability not 
found in the newer countries where sugar-beets have not 
been introduced. 

Palmer ^ says : "For fifteen years I have made a per- 
sonal study of the sugar industry in the United States, 
Grermany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, France, Belgium, 
Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and some portions of the 
tropics. In the above named countries of Europe, I 
have met or studied the writings of their leading agricul- 
turists, economists, and other thinking men, and without 
exception they state that the culture of sugar-beets 
raises the standard of their agricultural methods as does 
no other crop, rids their fields of noxious growth, puts 

^Palmer, Truman G., Journal of the National Institute of 
Social Sciences, July, 1916. 


Beet Raising and Community Welfare 251 

their soil in better condition, increases by 25 to 80 per 
cent the acreage yield of all other crops grown in rota- 
tion, and annually saves them from sending several hmi- 
dred million dollars to the tropics to purchase a neces- 
sary food commodity. In no beet country visited was 
there found a disposition to regret its establishment or 
the money it cost to establish it. Grermany alone spent 
over $351,000,000 in export bounties in order to encourage 
the industry." 


Wherever the beet-sugar industry is permanently es- 
tablished, agriculture reaches a greater stability than it 
had previously. The fact that the farmer has a sure 
market for his crop at a price known in advance enables 
him to judge more accurately the value of the land. Ex- 
perience shows the approximate yield of beets he may 
expect; and since he knows the costs of producing the 
crop and the returns' he is likely to receive from it, he is 
able to calculate rather accurately how much he can af- 
ford to pay for beet land of known quality. This re- 
duces the rapid fluctuation in the price of land that is 
often met in regions where profits are less certain. 

In areas where crops have no regular cash market, it 
is difficult to obtain stability to the agriculture. Many 
fruit-producing sections boom during years of good market, 
and land priced become greatly inflated. This condition 
may be followed by a series of years when no market can 
be secured or when the crop is a failure due to frost or 
some other unfavorable condition. The result is that 

252 The Sugar^Beet in America 

many farmers f aU and have to sell the farm at a loss and 
seek employment elsewhere. Farming under these up- 
and-down conditions is not satisfactory. The introduc- 
tion of beet raising into the farming system tends to over- 
come this variation. Fruit raising may yield higher 
profits during favorable years, but the uncertainty of its 
returns is not attractive to the conservative farmer and, 
tho^fore, not conducive to permanent agriculture. 


The raising of sugar-beets is not consistent with poor 
farming. Rye may be raised on land that is merely 
scratched ; it needs but little attention in addition to the 
work of planting and harvesting. Sugar-beets, on the 
other hand, cannot be raised without careful attention 
being given to every operation, from plowing to the de- 
livery of the crop at the factory. The expense of pro- 
ducing the crop is so great that the farmer cannot afford 
to neglect any phase of the work; carelessness in thin- 
ning may reduce the returns by several times the amount 
of the cost of thinning. The farmer cannot afford to 
allow weeds to grow, since these pests reduce the yield 
not only by using moisture and plant-food needed by the 
crop, but they cause a decrease in sugar formation by 
shading the beet leaves. In a cheaper crop, the cost of 
keeping weeds under complete control might not justify 
the expense; but in beet fields weeds cause greater in- 
jury than the expense of removing them. Thus, m 
every phase of sugar-beet farming, thoroughness is de- 
manded. This is certain to reflect in the raising of other 

Beet Raising and Community Welfare 253 

crops and to cause a general improvement in the agricul- 
ture of the section. 


Statistics^ show an increase in the yield of crops in 
every country where the raising of sugar-beets has been 
introduced. This is not due to any plant-food added to 
the soil by the beet plant, for it adds none, but is the re- 
sult of the good tillage methods necessary to successful 
beet-culture. The fleshy tap-root of the beet penetrates 
deeply into the soil, which it loosens and allows to be- 
come thoroughly aerated. Any tendency to the formation 
of a "plow sole" is overcome, and there is a thorough 
mixing of the soil and the upper subsoil. 

Beets require deep plowing in preparation for the crop ; 
they are given constant cultivation during the growing 
period ; and at harvest time the land is stirred deeply in 
removing the beets. This cultivation is paid for by the 
beet crop, but it also improves the condition of the soil 
for the crop that follows to such a marked degree that the 
yield is decidedly increased. 

Pure sugar takes no fertility from the land; conse- 
quently, if all of the by-products of the beet-sugar indus- 
try are returned to the land, its fertility can be maintained 
readily. With most other crops, the marketable part 
contains large quantities of the mineral plant-foods. Of 

\ A great many fig^ures on this subject have been compiled by 
Truman G. Palmer and published in his pamphlet entitled 
*' Sugar at a Olanoe '! — U. 8. Senate Document No. 890, 62d 
CoDgress (1912). 

254 The Sugar-Beet in America 

course, it is not practical to return all by-products to the 
land, but with care the greater part may be conserved. 
The increased yield in crops brought about by beet 
raising is due in part to the better farming methods dis- 
cussed in the previous section. 

In order to realize the full value of sugar-beets in in- 
creasing crop yields, it is necessary to have well-planned 
rotations supplemented by an economical use of farm 
manure or other fertilizing materiab. The high yields of 
European coimtries would not be possible without scien- 
tific rotations and the extensive use of manures. 




The beet-sugar industry is based on technical skill. 
The breeding of strains of beets high in sugar calls for 
special training in the principles of breeding. Many 
chemistsare needed to analyze the mother beets and special 
skill is required in the field work. In the making of sugar 
from beets, engineers, chemists, and other technically 
trained men are required. This means that any com- 
mimity having a beet-sugar factory must have trained 
men to carry on the industry. This necessity so promotes 
education that sugar-beet production has a direct educa- 
tional value to any community. 

Farmers take up better business methods, being en- 
couraged to keep records by cost of labor, cash product, 
contract crop, and contract labor, also because of its being 
one of two or three general crops that can pay on high- 
priced land. 

Beet Raiging a/nd Community Welfare 255 


In raising sugar-beets, considerable hand labor is re- 
quired. Much of this work can be done well by children ; 
in fact, children often can thin beets better and more 
rapidly than their parents. They can be used to ad- 
vantage also in weeding and in topping. This means that 
in regions where sugar-beets are raised, children who go to 
school during the winter can earn good wages in vacation 

In many irrigated districts of the West, where most of 
the sugar-beets of America are produced, persons live in 
towns and not on their farms. These towns provide many 
children who have no regular employment in the summer. 
These small communities lack the industries found in 
the large cities. Many of the inhabitants do not have 
land of their own ; as a result, their children are idle when 
not in school. If the farms of the region produce only 
hay and grain, no work is available for children ; but when 
sugar-beets are added, these yoimg persons find healthful 
and paying employment instead of spending the summer 
on the streets. In this, as in other work for children, 
care must be taken to avoid the evils of child labor. 


In all the farming communities work is more pressing 
in the smnmer than in the winter. In order to have suf- 
ficient help to care for crops during the busy season, 
there is an excess at other times. This means that or- 
dinarily some of the hands are idle and that winter wages 
are low. 

256 The Sugar-Beel in America 

If there is a sugar factory in the community, it uses a 
great niunber of men in the winter and the congestion is 
relieved. Those who would otherwise be idle are given 
employment and the entire winter wage scale for the com- 
mimity is advanced. 


Sugar-beet raising calls for intensive farming. A given 
area of land producing beets will give employment to 
several times as many men as the same area devoted to 
hay or grain. With sugar-beets as an important crop/ 
the farmer does not require so large an acreage in order to 
make a living as would be necessary with many other 
crops. This means that sugar-beet farming promotes a 
denser population. This has many advantages. It 
makes possible better educational facilities and more 
desirable social opportunities, thereby reducing to a 
minimum some of the chief disadvantages of farm life. 


The raising of sugar-beets and the manufacture of 
sugar from them brmg increased busmess to many other 
industries not directly connected with the farmer or the 
sugar factory. Thus, every community in which the 
beet-sugar industry is established has the pulse of its en- 
tire business quickened thereby. Railroads receive much 
traffic in transporting beets, lime, sugar, machinery, and 
the many other commodities that are incidental to sugar- 
making. Bank clearings are increased by the money 
paid for beets and supplies and that received for sugar. 

Beet Raising and Community Welfare 257 

The live-stock business is advanced by the cheap feeds 
resulting as by-products of beet raising and sugar-making. 
Several secondary manufacturing industries also grow out 
of the use of sugar-house products. All business is en- 
hanced by the presence of a sugar factory. 


Perhaps the most important contribution of the beet- 
sugar industry to community welfare comes in the greater 
degree of national independence that it insures. In 
modem days, sugar has come to be a food necessity. Its 
high food value, its palatability, and the ease with which it 
fits into the hmnan ration make it almost indispensable. 
The European war taught us much concerning the hard- 
ship that may result from a shortage of sugar. 

Any nation that finds itself dependent on some other 
nation for so important a conmiodity as sugar cannot 
boast that it is really independent. In time of war when 
an old supply is likely to be shut off, the nation that does 
not produce its own sugar may find itself seriously handi- 
capped. The beet-sugar industry owes its origin to just 
such a condition. Later international troubles have shown 
that preparation for an emergency of this kind must be made 
in times of peace ; it is too late after fighting has begun. 

It now seems evident that, aside from other consider- 
ations, the American beet-sugar industry should be en- 
larged as a matter of national preparedness. The Amer- 
ican people cannot afford to place themselves at the mercy 
of a possible enemy by not having at home a source of 
sugar sufficient to meet their needs in times of war. 



The processes involved in the manufacture of beet- 
sugar have undergone a great change in a little more than 
a hundred years since the industry was first established. 
At first it was difficult to secure a good product and only 
a small percentage of the sugar in the beet could be re- 
covered as refined sugar. Improvement in manufactur- 
ing processes has gone hand in hand with the breeding of 
a higher grade of beets in making possible the extension 
of the beet-sugar industry. The. making of beet-sugar 
involves a number of rather complex problems in physics, 
chemistry, and engineering; and since it is beyond the 
scope of this book to go thoroughly into these technical 
questions, only a brief description of the process of sugar- 
making will be given. The following well-defined stages 
are involved in the process : (1) storing and cleaning of 
beets, (2) extraction of juice, (3) purification of juice, 
(4) formation of grain, (5) partial drying, (6) final di^jdng, 
and (7) packing the sugar. 


After the beets are received by the sugar company, it 
is often necessary to store them for some time before they 



are sliced. If this is 
done at the factory, 
bins are usually avfdl- 
able. These are so 
arranged that the 
beets can be worked 
with the least amount 
of handling. Where 
cars are not av^able 
for immediate trans- 
portation, the beets 
must be stored in §• 
the districts where |. 
they are rused. This |. 
is usuaUy done m | 
large piles near the f 
weighing station and . | 
dump. I 

The loss during g 
storage is due to re»- | 
piration, which is | 
greatly ina%ased as | 
the temperature rises, S 
This means that in | 
sections where the | 
temperature is high % 
at harvest time, the 
beets must be sliced 
witlun a few days 
^ter they are dug. 
In secticms where 

260 The Sugaf'Beet in America 

the temperature is cool at the time of harvest and where 
severe cold is not experienced, large uncovered heaps are 
to be preferred to all other methods of storage, since 
little expense is involved and the loss of sugar is slight. 
Beets are not injured by temperatures slightly below 
freezing when they thaw out slowly ; consequently, only 
those lying on the very outside of the heap will be injured 
by frost. A light frost will result in no injury whatever. 
Care must be taken to see that these heaps do not 
begin to heat. If heating begins, the pile must be opened 
and the decaying beets removed. 

Beets stored at the factory are placed in V-shaped bins, 
the bottom of which is a flume covered with removable 
boards. By taking out these boards one at a time, the 
beets drop into a swift stream of water and are carried 
to the factory. 


The first step in preparing the beets for the factory is 
to remove rocks, sand, weeds, and other foreign material 
that might interfere with slicing. This foreign material 
is removed by a set of special devices shown in Fig. 31, 
after which the beets are carried up to the washer. The 
mechanical washer consists of a tank in which arms keep 
up an agitation in such a way that all dirt not removed 
while the beets were being carried by the stream of water 
into the factory is washed oflf. The beets after being 
thoroughly cleaned are elevated to a scale which weighs 
and records automatically. They are now ready to be 

Plate XXVII. — Ahote, view ot tO! 
bonation and sulfur tacka wheie the w 
tesy Tnuoao G. Palmer.) 

Sugar-Making 261 


The chief object sought in slicing is to obtain as large 
a surface as possible and at the same time to leave the 
pieces of beet in such a condition that they will not pack 
into a mass through which water will not pass readily. 
Many kinds of slicing knives are used^ but aO cut the 
beets into long thin strips called "cossettes." These are 
so thin that the sugar contained in the cells of the root 
can readily diffuse out into the water with which the cos- 
settes are treated in the diffusion batteries. The cor- 
rugated slicing knives revolve rapidly and are able to 
handle large quantities of beets. 

The cossettes pass from the knives to the cells of the 
diffusion battery, shown in Plate XXVII. These are large 
iron containers, cylindrical in shax)e, and terminating in 
truncated cones having covers; they are arranged in a 
circle or in a straight line. The series usually contains 
from ten to fourteen of these tanks. Each is so con- 
nected at the bottom by means of a pii)e with the top 
of the next in the series that a continual flow of warm 
water passes through the cossettes as long as they remain 
in the battery. The batteries are so arranged that the 
container which has had its charge for the longest time 
receives the fresh water, which removes the last bit of 
sugar that can be extracted. The pulp from which the 
sugar has been removed is dumped out and the tank is 
again filled with fresh slices. This tank then becomes the 
last iia the series and receives the water laden with juice 
after it has passed through all the other cells of the bat- 

262 The Sttgar-Beet in America 

The pulp is carried off in a stream of water to a silo, 
where it is held till it is dried or hauled away to be fed 
to stock. Plate XIX. Methods of handling the pulp 
are discussed in detail in Chapter XII. The juice, con- 
taining the sugar, on coming from the batteries is dark in 
color, and, in addition to the sugar, contains many impuri- 
ties which must be removed before the sugar can be made 
to crystallize out. Up to this point, the method of mak- 
ing beet-sugar differs completely from that used for cane- 
sugar; beet juice is obtained by diffusion, whereas the 
cane juice is removed by crushing. 


After the juice is measured, it passes to the carbonation 
tanks (Plate XXVII) where purification begins. Here it is 
treated with 3 to 4 per cent of caustic lime in the form of 
thick milk. After thorough agitation, the excess lime is 
precipitated with carbon dioxid from the lime Join. The 
addition of lime is considered the most important opera- 
tion in the sugar mill, and unless properly done the 
final product is affected both in color and amount. The 
effect of lime on the juice is both chemical and mechanical. 
The lime unites chemically with a number of substances 
that later interfere with the manufacturing process, and 
it causes many of the solids held in suspension to settle to 
the bottom, leaving a clear liquid of light amber color. 

When the proper condition in the juice is obtained, it is 
passed through filter presses, shown in Plate XXVIII, to 
remove the precipitated lime and other solid matter. 
These solid materials are retained in the frame of the 

PiATB XXVIII. — Abore. filter presses made of iron frames covered 
with doth through which juice filters as a dear liquid ; belou). vacuum 
pans where the juice is concentrated nod the grains formed. (Courtesy 
rruman G. Palmer.) 

» ' ♦ » 

Sugar'Making 263 

presses. As soon as the frame is full, the lime cake is 
washed by passing water through it till the sugar-content 
of the cake has been sufficiently reduced. The press is 
then opened and the cake removed and disposed of in the 
manner discussed in Chapter XII. A second filtration 
is usually practiced in order to remove any solids that 
may have gone through the first time. Later^ the juice 
is again treated with a little lime and with carbon 
dioxid to reduce further the impurities^ after which it 
receives the third filtering. 

In most sugar houses, the juice is treated with sulfiu* 
fumes before it is concentrated, although sometimes con- 
centration precedes this process. The object of treating 
with sulfur is to reduce the alkalinity caused by the lime, 
and to remove additional impurities. The sulfur also has 
a bleaching action, removing color from the liquid that 
might be carried on to the sugar. The sulfur fumes are 
obtained by passing air over burning sulfur which yields 
sulfurous acid. After being sulfured, the juice is passed 
through special filter presses after which it is ready for 


During the processes of piu'ification the juice contains a 
large quantity of water which was used to extract the 
sugar in the diffusion battery. This must be evaporated 
before the sugar will crystallize. The fijrst beet factories 
did this evaporating in open pans and as a result did not 
secure a good quality of sugar. The heat required to 
evaporate water rapidly at ordinary atmospheric pres- 
sure is so high that sugar is likely to be charred. For this 

264 The Sugar^Beet in America 

reason, evaporation is carried on under reduced pres- 
sure which lowers the boiling point of the liquid. After 
the juice is reduced from about 82 per cent of water to 
about 40 per cent, it is again treated with sulfur and 
filtered in a manner similar to that used for the "'thin 
juice/' This is the final process of purifying the beet 
juice, which is then ready for graining. 

In refining cane-sugar, there is no treatm^it with sulfur ; 
impurities are removed with bone black. This is the 
chief difference in the method of making sugar from cane 
and from beets in the United States. In Europe, where 
raw beet-sugar is produced by many factories, this prod- 
uct also is refined by the aid of bone black. In early 
days blood was used extensively in sugar refining, but this 
practice has now been discontmued entirely. 


The vacuum-pan serves not only for evaporating the 
sirup but also for crystallizing the sugar. This pan is a 
large cast-iron tank in which the air pressure can be kept 
low to reduce the danger of browning the sugar by high 
heat. If the juice has been purified properly, there is no 
trouble about producing good sugar in this pan; but if 
impiu*ities remain, it is difficult to obtain good crystal- 
lization. This mixture of crystals and sirup is called 
'^ massecuite.'' It is run through a centrifugal machine, 
like that shown in Plate XXIX, revolving at a rate of 1200 
revolutions a minute. The sirup is thrown out through 
fine perforations in the wall of the machine, and the 
crystals of sugar remain, dropping out through the bottom 

Sugar-Making 265 

when enough sirup is thrown off to permit crumbling. 
From the centrifugal machine the sugar is sent to the 
driers, where any excess moisture is removed by a 
current of warm air. The sugar is then ready to be 
sacked and sent to the market. 

The sirup thrown from the centrifugal machines goes 
to the second vacuum-pan, where it is further concen- 
trated; a second yield of sugar smaller than the fiu^ is 
taken from it in the centrifugal machine. The molasses 
is sometimes carried to tanks, where it is used in a manner 
discussed in Chapter XII. If the factory is equipped with 
the Steffen process, a third yield of sugar is secured. This 
yield is small and represents only that part which woidd 
remam as molasses or be partly saved, if the ordinary 
processes are used instead of the Steffen. 


Regarding this process Rolph^ has the following to 
say : "In some of the beet factories the sugar left in the 
final molasses is extracted by what is known as the Steffen 
process. The final low-purity niolasses is diluted with 
water and cooled to a very low temperature, after which 
finely powdered lime is constantly added to the solution 
at a uniform and slow rate. The sugar combines with the 
lime and a saccharage of lime is formed which is insoluble 
in the liquid. The suspended matter, or saccharate, is 
then separated and washed in filter presses. 

"The cake from these filter presses, which is the sac- 

1 Rolph, G. M., "Something about Sugar" (1917), pp. 116- 

266 The Sugaf'Beet in America 

charate of lime, is mixed with sweet water to a consist- 
ency of cream and takes the place of milk of lime in the 
carbonation process. When the Steffen process is em- 
ployedy about ninety per cent of the sugar originally in 
the beet is extracted. The loss of sugar that does take 
place is accounted for in the exhausted cossettes or pulp, 
in the pulp water which surrounds them when they are 
dumped from the diffusion cells, in the cake and wash 
waters from the carbonation presses, and in the waste 
and wash waters from the Steffen process. As the water 
used in washing the saccharate press cake is rich in fer- 
tilizing qualities, it is used for irrigating the lands ad- 
joining the factory. 

"The 6,511,274 tons of beets harvested m the United 
States during the season of 1915 contained an average of 
16.49 per cent of sucrose, of which 14.21 per cent found 
its way into the sacks as white sugar. The difference, 
2.28 per cent, represented the loss in working up the beets. 
As only a few factories, however, were using Steffen 
process, a considerable amount of sugar was left in the 
waste molasses. For the same period, the beets produced 
in California contained 17.82 per cent of sugar, of which 
15.64 per cent found its way into the sacks, showing a 
loss of only 2.18 per cent. This may be accounted for 
by the fact that probably more of the California factories 
were equipped with the Steffen process than the average 
for the United States, and that the purity of the juices of 
California beets was higher than the average for the 
United States. 

" A factory equipped with the Steffen process and run- 
nmg on beets containing 17.82 per cent sugar, with a 

Plate XXIX. — Above, centrifugal machines where the molasses is 
thrown out of the sugar : below, sugar warehouse, Garden City, Kansas. 
<Courl*sy Truman G. Palmer.) 

r «. 

Sugar-Making 267 

purity of 82, should lose not over 1.9 per cent of the sugar 
in the beet. The same factory without the SteflFen pro- 
cess would probably lose 5.04 per cent of the sugar." 
It would, however, have a considerable quantity of 



No discussion of the sugar-beet would be complete 
without mention being made of its great rivals sugar- 
cane. The beet furnishes a comparatively new source of 
sugar, whereas cane has been a conmiercial source of 
sugar for centuries. If sugar-cane could be raised in 
temperate climates in as great profusion as it grows in 
the tropics, sugar would probably never be obtained com- 
mercially from the sugar-beet, since the yield of cane is 
much greater than that of beets, and the expense of han- 
dling the crop b very much less. 

Sugar-cane, however, is confined to hot countries ; this 
means that sugar made from it has to be transported great 
distances in order to reach the big markets, which are 
found in the centers of population.^ This gives beet- 
sugar a much better chance to compete. No one can 
predict exactly the relative production of cane- and beet- 
sugar in the future. It seems probable that both crops 
will continue to be raised, each one supplying the market 
that it can reach most easily. 

The sugar-cane plant belongs to the grass family, and 
is usually classed in the genus Saccharum, although it was 
formerly known as Arundo saccharifera. Many varieties 


Sugar-Cane 209 

of cane are grown. These differ greatly in their various 
properties, and they have the following colors: green, 
yellow, red, brown, black, white, purple, and mixed. 
Some varieties may be attractive to the grower, while the 
manufacturer may prefer others. This is not imlike the 
conditions with varieties of other crops. The producer 
seeks yield and resistance; the manufacturer desires 
quality and ease in handling. No one variety is best 
suited to all conditions; a choice must be made on the 
basis of local needs. 

The roots are fibrous and lateral and do not penetrate 
deeply. The root-stalk is an elongation of the stem, which 
is made up of numerous nodes and intemodes varymg in 
length from four to ten inches. The epidermis is polished 
and in some varieties is very thick. Leaves are alternate ; 
they are large at the base and gradually taper to the 
point, being about three feet long and in some varieties 
bearing pricks. The older leaves drop off as the plant 
grows, leaving only those near the tip actively functioning. 

A bud, called the eye, is borne under the base of each 
leaf at the node. These contain the germ from which 
new plants are produced. Each bud is capable of pro- 
ducing a complete plant which may tiller and produce 
many stalks. The seed is produced in panicles of silken 
spikes and is often infertile, but propagation is carried 
on vegetatively by plantmg stalks or pieces of stalks. 
Around each bud are found numerous little dots which 
produce roots when the bud is planted. In some climates 
cane bears flowers when twelve or thirteen months old; 
in other climates a longer period is required. Flowering 
takes place before the cane is entirely ripe. 

270 The Sugar-Beei in America 

In Hawaii, eighteen months are required for it to ripen ; 
it tassels about a month before it is ready to cut. In 
Louisiana and Te3cas, the crop is harvested in nine or ten 
months after planting ; in Cuba, it is cut in twelve months 
whether it is ripe or not. In the Philippines, it b har- 
vested in about fourteen months, being planted in No- 
vember and December and harvested a year from the 
next January and February. 


Sugar-cane is strictly a hot-climate plant. In order 
to flourish, it must have abundant sunshine, plenty of 
moisture, and a fertile soil. It is usually confined to the 
tropics, included between twenty-two degrees north lati- 
tude and twenty-two degrees south latitude, although in 
a few places it reaches beyond these boundaries, having 
been grown as far north as thirty-two degrees in Spain 
and as far south as thirty-seven degrees in New Zealand. 
The most favorable growing conditions are found with an 
average annual temperature of about 75^ F. and seven to 
nine months of growing season with warm days and 

It flourishes in the Hawaiian Islands, Cuba, Mexico, 
Central America, islands of the East and West Indies, 
Australia, China, India, along the shores of the China 
Sea and Indian Ocean, and in parts of Africa and South 
America. In the low altitudes of temperate zones it 
grows, but is only fairly successful. 

The water requirement of the crop is exceedingly large 
and can only be met by an extremely heavy rainfall or 

■ » > 

Sugar-Cane 271 

by irrigation. The distribution of moisture is highly 
important, most of it being required during the period of 
rapid growth. A comparatively dry season during ripen- 
ing and harvest is desirable ; and in the growing season, 
periods of clear skies and hot simshine i^ould alternate 
with the rainy periods. 


Because the cane plant is a vigorous feeder, it needs a 
fertile soil for its best growth. When so heavy a crop 
must be supported from the zone that is penetrated by 
the shallow roots of the cane, considerable available plant- 
food is required. If this is not present in the soil, it must 
be added as fertilizer if the highest yield is realized. No 
particular kind of soil is required ; any good agricidtural 
land that can be well aerated and that has suflScient 
plant-food will raise sugar-cane. Limestone soils are to 
be preferred for this as well as for many other crops. The 
saline condition often found along the coast causes trouble 
with cane, although high yields are sometimes obtained 
in the presence of some salt. A soil high in vegetable 
mold is likely to produce a vegetative growth at the 
expense of sugar formation. 

In some cane-producing sections, fertilizer is added 
twice for one crop, the first about planting time and the 
second after growth is well under way. In Hawaii, about 
$25 an acre are spent each year for fertilizers. 

Where irrigation is practiced, the land is laid out with 
furrows about five feet apart and eighteen inches deep, 
running on a contour with the land to prevent washing. 

272 The Sugar-Beel in America 

In these furrows the cane is planted, and they also serve 
as carriers for the irrigation water later. Water is ap- 
plied soon after planting and at intervals of about a week 
throughout the growing period. 


The cane stalk is so cut in joints that there will be at 
least one bud on every joint; these are dropped in the 
furrow end to end, as shown in Plate XXX, with a slight 
lapping to insure a good stand. The upper part of the 
stalk, not suited for anything else, is usuaUy planted. 
They are covered with one inch to an inch and a half of 
soil, and carefully watered in order to promote an early 
sprouting. Cultivation is also begun and continued as 
long as the plants permit. In some parts of the tropics, 
practically no care is given the cane after it is planted ; 
it is allowed to yield from year to year whatever nature 
will produce unaided. 

In some sections, fresh plantings are made for every 
crop, but a more common practice is to allow " ratooning, " 
or a growing up from the roots. When this is done, a 
furrow is plowed along the row after cutting to help in 
aerating the soil, and a fresh growth begins at once. 
When but one year of growth from the roots is practiced, 
it is called a "short ratoon"; when the growth is con- 
tinued two or three years or longer, it is called a "long 
ratoon.** In Hawaii it used to be the practice to plant 
every crop, but now ratooning two or three crops is more 
conmion. In Cuba the crop is ratooned for long periods, 
sometimes twenty years or more. 


StAgar-Cane 273 

In Hawaii and other parts of the tropics, planting is 
done from March to September^ the cane beginning to 
ripen a year from the next December. The period of 
harvest extends from January to the latter part of July 
or August. It is, therefore, necessary to have double the 
amount of land that is to be harvested each year, since 
practically two years are consumed in the planting, grow- 
ing, and harvesting of a crop. . 

The growth of a vigorous crop of sugar-cane resembles 
that of a jungle, Plate XXXI. After the stalks become 
heavy with sugar, they sag into all shapes. Stalks that 
are twenty-four feet long may become so prostrate that 
they seem to be only ten or twelve feet high. Some 
varieties retain their upright growth much better than 


The cane is cut near the ground with heavy knives and 
at the same time the top is cut off and the stalk cut into 
convenient lengths. In many sections, before cutting is 
begun, the field is set on fire in order to rid the plants of 
leaves ; in other places the leaves are stripped off. The 
cane is taken to the mills either on railroads or wagons 
similar to those shown in Plate XXXII or carried by 
water through flumes. Where railroads are used, paths 
are cut through the fields about 150 feet apart, and rails 
laid through these. In loading the cane on the cars, a 
strap is bound around as large a load as a man wishes to 
carry, and the load is placed on his back and is carried 
up an inclined plank to the car. Since fire kills the buds, 
the plants that are to be used for seed are not burned. 

274 The Sv^ar^Beet in America 

In Hawaii a yield of twenty to eighty-five tons of 
cane to the acre is secured. This contains from two and 
a half to twelve tons of sugar, with an average of about 
five tons. 


The sugar is removed from beets by dissolving it from 
the cells with water in the diffusion battery ; it is removed 
from cane by crushing the stalks and squeezing out the 
juice between ^heavy rollers. The cane on the car in which 
it comes from the field is weighed and samples are taken 
for analysis. It is then ready for the mill. It passes 
along conveyers to the crusher, which consists of two 
large corrugated rollers which break the stalks and squeeze 
out part of the juice. The cane mat is then passed on 
through the mill, where it passes between several sets of 
rollers which squeeze out all possible juice. 

The bagasse, or woody part of the cane, which has been 
squeezed dry, is conveyed to the engine house to be used 
as fuel. The juice, after being screened to remove the 
coarser solids held in suspension, goes to the purification 
tanks, then to the multiple evaporators, and finally to the 
crystallizing vacuum-pan, where it is usually made into 
raw sugar. Most of the raw sugar is taken to large re- 
fineries in the coast cities, where it is made into the re- 
fined sugar of commerce. 

The processes of making cane- and beet-sugar are very 
similar except in one or two stages. These processes are 
discussed in greater detail in the chapter on sugar-making. 

» « 




That each year sees an increase in the use of sugar in 
all civilized nations indicates its fundamental value as 
a desirable and economic food. Formerly there was 
much prejudice against the use of sugar. In ancient 
times it was thought to be useful only as medicine ; later 
it was considered as a delicacy to be used sparingly ; only 
recently has it taken a place as an economical food used 
for its energy value as much as for its agreeable flavor. 

The increased use of sugar in practically all countries 
will necessitate a great extension of the present sugar- 
producing area^ if the rate of increase in use is continued. 
The place where this increase in production will be made 
depends on several important factors. Transportation 
facilities and legislative enactments will have quite as 
much to do with the problem as will the adaptation of 
various sections to the growth of sugar-producing plants. 


Sugar is a general name applied to a large group of 
substances which, together wilJi the starches, constitute 
the carbohydrates. The name "carbohydrate" was 


276 The Sugar^Beel in America 

given because these compounds are made up of carbon 
combined with hydrogen and oxygen in the ratio in which 
these elements are found in water. This makes the carbo- 
hydrates in reality carbon-water compounds. The sugars 
are as a rule crystalline, soluble in water, less soluble or 
insoluble in alcohol, and insoluble in ether and other sol- 
vents that are immiscible with water. They all have a 
more or less sweet taste, but vary considerably in sweet- 
ness. Most sugars have the property of rotating the 
plane of polarized light. This property is of great aid to 
the chemist in making rapid determinations of the quantity 
of sugar present in any substance. 

The conunercial sugars are divided chemically into two 
classes : monosaccharids and disaccharids. The mono- 
saccharids have the formula CeHuOe and include dex- 
trose, or grape-sugar, and levulose, or fruit-sugar. The 
disaccharids have the formula CuHnOn and include su- 
crose, or cane-sugar, lactose, or milk-sugar, and malt- 
ose, or malt-sugar. They may be considered as con- 
densation products of the monosaccharids and derived 
from two molecules by the elimination of water thus : 
2CflHi,06-H,0=Ci2H220ii. The sugars of the disac- 
charid group are hydrolyzed when heated in solution with 
dilute acid ; in the case of sucrose a mixture of dextrose 
and levulose results, the change consistmg of the addition 
of a molecule of water and a bisection of the sucrose 
molecule. This action is called " mversion." 

Sucrose, or cane-sugar, is the most important of the 
sugars ; it is the ordinary sugar of commerce. It is about 
two and one-half times as sweet as grape-sugar. The 
name cane-sugar was given because it was first obtained 

World* 8 Use and Supply of Sugar 277 

from cane ; but it might just as well be called beet-sugar, 
since the sugar obtained from the beet is exactly the same 
chemically as that obtained from cane. This sugar is 
made up of monoclinic prisms — usually with hemihedral 
faces — and contains no water of crystallization. The 
crystals are colorless, transparent^ and have a specific 
gravity of about 1.6 and a melting point of about 160*^ C. 
At this temperature there is no* decomposition in the 
melted liquid, which solidifies on cooling to an amorphous 
glassy mass and will after a short time assume crystalline 
structure and become opaque. If heated to a higher 
temperature, decomposition takes place between 200° and 
210° C, when considerable gas is given oflF and a dark 
brown substance with a bitter taste called caramel is left. 
Sucrose is a strong reducing agent, which means that 
it is readily oxidized. It does not ferment until converted 
into invert sugar by the action of the yeast plant, or in- 
vertin from yeast, or by some acid. 


The sugars are found very widely distributed through- 
out the plant kingdom. It is stated ^ that more than one- 
half of the foods have a sweetish taste as compared with 
one-third that taste salty and about one-tenth bitter or 
sour. Sucrose, in addition to being present in large 
quantities in sugar-cane and the sugar-beet, is found in 
sorghmn, in corn-stalks, in the sap of many forest trees, 
in seeds, in most sweet fruits, — usually associated with 
invert sugar, — in many kinds of roots, and in the nectar 

1 Surface, G. M., "The Story of Sugar," p. 31. 


The Sugar^Beet in America 

of flowers. It exists in solution in the cells of plants. 
Dextrose and levulose, which usually occur together, are 
found in most fruits, in honey, and m many other products. 
Honey consists of a natural mixture of about 37 per cent 
each of dextrose and levulose, and may contain as high as 
6 or 8 per cent of sucrose. Milk-sugar, or lactose, is con- 
tained in milk, from 4 to 5 per cent being present. Malt- 
sugar, or maltose, results from the action of diastase on 
starchy materials. 

Newlands^ quotes the following analyses from Payen 
to show the amount of sugar contained in a number of 

Table XX. — Percentage of Svoab in Fruttb 

Pineapple (Montserrat) . . . 
Starawberry (CoUina d'Erherdt) 


Apple, gray Reinette (fresh) . . 
Apple, gray Reinette (preserved) 

Apple, English 

Calville (preserved) .... 

Plum, Mirabelle 

Plum, Reine Claude .... 



Raspberry • 



Pear, St. C(ermaine (preserved) . 

Total Suoars 













1 Newlands, J. A. R., and B. E. R., ''Sugar, A Handbook for 
Planter and Refiners," p. xvi. 

World^s Use and Supply of Sugar 


The purity of sucrose in raw sugar from different sources 
is given by Abel ^ as follows : 

Table XXI. — Avbiuob Pebcemtagb CoMPosrrtoN of Raw 












Sugar-cane . 





Sugar-beet . 





Maize . . 





Palm . . . 





Maple . . 





These figures would not be constant under different 
conditions, but they show average impurities in sugar 
from different sources before it is refined. 


The value of sugar as a food is discussed by Abel ' as 
follows: ''The main function of sugar as found in the 
blood, whether resulting from the digestion of sugar or of 
starch, is believed to be the production of energy for in- 
ternal and eictemal muscular work, and, as a necessary 
accompaniment, body heat. This has been amply demon- 
strated by experiment. By ingenious devices the blood 
going to and from a muscle of a living animal may be 

1 Abel, Mary Hinman, "Sugar and Its Value as Food," U. 8. 
Dejft. of Agr., Farmera' Bid. No. 535 (1917), p. 13. 
« Ibid., pp. 16-18. 

280 The Sugar-Beet in America 

analyzed^ and it is thus shown that more blood traverses 
an active or working muscle and more sugar disappears 
from it than is the case with a muscle at rest. 

''To decide the question of the value of sugar as a 
source of energy for the working muscle, much careful 
laboratory work has been carried on. It has been found 
that an increase in the sugar content of the diet, when 
not too great and when the sugar is not too concentrated, 
lessens or delays fatigue and increases working power. 
Increased amounts of sugar were found to increase the 
ability to perform muscular work to such an extent that 
on a ration of 500 grams (17.5 ounces) of sugar alone a 
man was able to do 61 to 76 per cent more work than on a 
fastmg diet, or ahnost as much as on a full ordmary diet. 
The addition of about half this quantity of sugar to an 
ordinary or to a meager diet also considerably increased 
the capacity for work, the effect of the sugar being felt 
about a half an hour after eating it, and its maximmn 
effect showing itself about two hoiu*s after eating. The 
coming of fatigue was also found to be considerably de- 
layed on this diet, and taking 3 or 4 ounces of sugar a 
short time before the usual time for the occurrence of 
fatigue prevented the appearance of it. Lemonade, or 
other similar refreshing drink, and chocolate have been 
suggested as mediums for supplying in small doses an extra 
amount of sugar to men called upon to perform extraor- 
dinary muscular labor. The application of these re- 
sults to the food of soldiers who may be called upon for 
extraordinary exertion in marching or fighting is very 
evident. Practical tests of the value of sugar in pre- 
ventmg or delaying fatigue, made in both the German and 

World^s Use and Supply of Sugar 281 

French armies, indicate the value of sugar in the ration 
when the men are subjected to great exertion. 

"... According to our present knowledge the value 
of sugar as a food for muscular work may be briefly sum- 
marized as follows : 

"When the organism is adapted to the digestion of 
starch, and there is sufficient time for its utilization, sugar 
has no advantage over starch as a food for muscular work. 

"In small quantities and in not too concentrated form 
sugar will take the place, practically weight for weight, 
of starch as a food for muscular work, barring the dif- 
ference in energy and in time required to digest them, 
sugar having the advantage in these respects. 

"It furnishes the needed carbohydrate material to 
organisms that have little or no power to digest starch. 
Thus, milk sugar is part of the natural food of the infant 
whose digestive organs are, as yet, imable to convert 
starch into an assimilable form. 

"In times of great exertion or exhausting labor, the 
rapidity with which it is assimilated gives sugar certain 
advantages over starch and makes it prevent fatigue. 

"This latter quality, which renders it more rapidly 
available for muscular power, may account for the fact 
tihat sugar is so relished by people who are doing muscular 
work, and by those of very active habits, such as children. 

"The American farmer ranks high among agriculturists 
as a rapid and endurmg worker, and his consumption of 
sweets is known to be very large. The same is true of 
lumbermen and others who work hard in the open air; 
sugar and seed cakes are favorite foods with them. Dietary 
studies carried on in the wmter lumber camps of Maine 

282 The Sugaf'Beet in America 

showed that large quantities of oookies, cakes^ molasses, 
and sugar were eaten, sugar of all sorts supplying on an 
average 10 per cent of the total energy of the diet 

''The value of sugar in cold climates, where foods con- 
taining starch are not available, is evident, and in the 
outfit of polar expeditions sugar is now given an important 

'' Oriental races are very fond of sweets, as often noted 
by travelers. CCTtain forms of confectionery are very 
popular in Turkey and other regions of the East, and in 
tropical lands the consiunption of dates, figs, and other 
sweets is very large. In a discussion * of the food of the 
natives of India the great value set on sweetmeats or 
sugar by the Hindoo population of all classes is pointed 
out. Large quantities of brown or white sugar are used 
to sweeten the boiled mUk, which is a common article of 
diet, and sugar is also used with sour milk, rice, cheese, 
and other foods. It has also been said that the employer 
who wiU not furnish the native laborers with the large 
amounts of sugar they desire, in their daily ration, must 
expect to lose his workmen. 

"Certain rowmg clubs in Holland have reported very 
beneficial results from the use of large amounts of sugar 
in training. 

"Pfluger, who devoted so much attention to glycogen 
and other carbohydrates, says that undoubtedly sugar in 
the blood is heavily drawn on during violent exercise; 
hence the longing for it in a form that can be rapidly 

"Its use by mountain climbers is well known. The 
1 U. S. Dept. of Agr., Off. Exp. Sta., Bvl. No. 175. 

WorWs Use arid Supply of Sugar 


Swiss guide considers lump sugar and highly sweetened 
chocolate an indispensable part of his outfit." 


While nian has probably always eaten considerable 
sugar^ which he obtained in fruit and other f oods^ the use 

Fig. 32. — Production of total sagar and beet-sugar in the world and the 
United States' consumption of sugar and production of beet-sugar. 

of refined sugar in large quantities is confined to modem 
times. As previously stated, sugar was anciently thought 
to be suitable for use only on special occasions; today 


The Sugar-Beet in America 


CO 1^ 


'a I 

















it forms a part of every day's 
ration of civilized peoples. The 
increase in the use of sugar during 
the last generation is shown in 
Fig. 32, which gives the world's 
production over the period extend- 
ing from 1865 to 1915. This curve 
shows that during a period of fifty 
years, the production and conse- 
quently the consumption of sugar 
increased from four and one-half 
billion pounds to over forty bil- 
lion, or an increase of 900 per cent. 
Of course the population of the 
world increased during this period, 
but in no way did this compare 
with the increase in sugar con- 

An examination of Fig. 33 shows 
that if all the countries come up 
to the per capita consumption of 
nations like Great Britain and the 
United States, the increase in the 
total sugar required in the world 
will continue. It is impossible to 
predict what the future consump- 
tion of sugar in the world will be, 
but it seems probable that more 
sugar will be required each year, 
especially if the price can be kept 
low. That it should find a greater 

World's Use and Supply of Sugar 





• CO 


«H T-^ ' % 

C4 Oft O O :«i p b« r-i O 00 C4 O) O O fH O-^ "t CO 
















gScow — " 





1 1>. ^ i-H »o CO ' 

O p 00 CO »Q iH ^ 00 
00 C5 t* 0> C5 t^ t^ r-l 

I e^ CO CO CO u) CO lo CO 











00 p o 1-1 es CO <<14 

I O O »"• »H 11 rH »H 

80 1^ *^ »-^ »-H 
O 9 9 O) O) 




286 The Sugar-Beet in America 

use seems only reasonable, since it supplies a wholesome 
and nourishing food, which is relished by all classes of 
people. ^ 


The annual per capita consumption of sugar in the 
United States and the leading coimtries of Europe is 
shown in Fig. 33. It varies from 89.59 pounds for each 
individual in the United Kingdom to 8.94 pounds in 
Italy. Accordmg to their use of sugar^ the countries 
come in the following order : United Kingdom, Denmark, 
United States, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden, Germany, 
Netherlands, France, Belgium, Austria-Hungary, Russia, 
Spain, and Italy, — the people of the British Isles usmg 
ten times as much as the Italians. Figures compiled by 
Palmer^ show the following i)ercentage increase per 
capita in sugar consumption during the twenty-six-year 
period from 1889 to 1915 in the countries mentioned: 
Germany, 323; Netherlands, 198; Russia, 188; Austria- 
Hungary, 187; Switzerland, 150; Denmark, 144; Bel- 
gium, 102; United States, 71; France, 54; Spain, 46; 
United Kingdom, 22 ; and Italy, 16. 

He also compiled Table XXII, which shows the total 
consiunption of sugar in the United States and several 
European countries. This table shows that in less 
than thirty years the use of sugar has increased several 
hundred per cent in most countries. iFVance is the 
only one in which it has not more than doubled in that 

1 Palmer, Truman H., "Conoeming Sugar" (1916). 

■_ Wwi^a Use and Supply t/ Sugar ,287 


The Sugar-Beet in America 










• . - •♦*TOTC MILC» 






• «C wo 1*0 »«0 

Fig. 35. — Sugar production in Cuba, Porto Rioo, Hawaii, and Java. 

(U. S. Dept. of Agr.) 

World's Use and Supply cf Sngar 289 


llie supply of sugar for the world comes from com- 
paratively few areas. One factor entering into this is 

Fio. 30. — Production of 

I, Dept. of Agr.) 

that the individual farmer cannot make commercial sugar 
in regions where there are no sugar -factories ; and so 
much money is invested in a sugar factory that one is not 

200 The Sugap'Beet in America 

likdy to be built except in a region thought to be well 
adapted to the raising of either sugar-cane or sugar-beets. 
Sugar-cane is restricted to hot moist climates and sugar- 
beets are raised in comparatively few districts. The parts 
of the world that produce cane-sugar and beet-sugar 
are shown in Fig. 34. The sugar-producing area is seen 
to be very small in comparison to the total land area. 
The production of cane-sugar in Cuba, Porto Rico, Hawaii, 
Java, and India is shown in greater detail in Figs. 35 and 
36. These represent the chief sources of cane-sugar. 

The relative number of beet^sugar factories in Europe 
and the United States is given in Fig. 11, page 3. The 
maps are drawn to the same scale and give some idea of 
the expansion that would be necessary in beet raising 
in the United States if it were made equal to that of 

At the opening of the European war, the world's sugar 
supply was about equally divided between beet-sugar and 
cane-sugar; but military operations in the beet-producing 
areas of northern France, Belgium, Poland, and Italy 
have greatly curtailed the making of beet-sugar in these 
sections, and cane-sugar has been given a decided lead. 

The countries exporting and importing sugar are shown 
in Fig. 37. Cuba is the greatest exporter, followed by 
the Dutch East Indies, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and 
the smaller exporters. The United States is the leading 
importer, foUowed by the United Kingdom, British India, 
China, Canada, and the smaller importers. 

The production of sugar in the United States and her 
possessions is shown in Fig. 38. These give about half 
of the sugar consumed in the coimtry; most of the other 

World^s Use and Supply of Stigar 


half is imported from Cuba. An idea of the amomit of 
sugar used in this country may be obtamed when it is 




TOTAL IMfN)«rfl 


Fio. 37. — Sugar exports and imports in different countries. (U. S. 

Dept. of Agr.) 

realized that a freight train extending from Boston to 
Denver would be required to haul one year's supply. 

Detailed figures regarding the world's use and supply 
^f sugar are given in Appendix C. 


Figures have already been given to show that the use 
of sugar in the world is increasing very rapidly. There 
seems to be no good reason why this increase should not 


The Sugof'Beel in America 

go on till the amount required to supply the world's needs 
will be several times what it is at present; nor is there 
any reason to believe that this demand cannot be met 


Five Y^R AVERAGE. 1909-1913 




100 200 300 400 500 



100 200 300 400 SOO 



Fio. 38. — Production of sugar in the United States and poflaeaaioDfl. 

(U. S. Dept. of Agr.) 

easily. Under scientific methods^ cane-sugar production 
in the tropics is capable of very great expansion; the 
world's entire sugar supply coidd be obtained from this 
source if there were no other. 
The beet-sugar industry is only in its infancy in the 

World's Use and Supply of Sugar 293 

United States. It also could be extended to many other 
parts of the temperate zone. If necessary, the world's 
needs for sugar could be supplied from beets, so great is 
the area adapted to raising this crop. With these two 
sources of sugar, it seems reasonable to believe that there 
will be no permanent shortage in this product that is each 
year becoming a more important element in the diet of 




1840. Child, David Lbb. ''Culture of the Beet, and Manu^ 
faoture of Beet Sugar," pp. 156. (Boston.) 

1880. Wabb, Lbwis S. ''The Sugar Beet," pp. 323. (Phila- 

1897. Spbncbr, Q. L. "A Handbook for Beet-fiugar Chem- 

ists,'* pp.461. (New York.) 

1898. Wabb, L. S. "SugarBeet Seed,"pp. 264. (New York.) 

1899. Mtbick, Hbrbbrt. "The Anouerioan Sugar Industry," 

pp. 220. (New York.) 

1902. Wabb, L. B. "Cattle Feeding with Sugar Beets, Sugar, 
Molasses, and Sugar Residuum," pp. 389. (Philadel- 

1905. Wabb,L. B. "Beet Sugar Manufacture," 2 vol., pp. 543 
and 647. (New York.) 

1908. RoDBBNS, Frank. "The Amerioan Beet Growers An- 

nual," pp. 83. (Chioago.) 

1909. Nbwi«ands, J. A. R., and Nbwlands, 9. E. R. "Sugar, 

A Handbook for Planters and Refiners," pp. 876. 
(London and New York.) 

1909. NiKAiDO, Y. "Beet-sugar Making and its Chemioal 

Control," pp. 354. (Easton, Pa.) 

1910. Claabsbn, H. "Beet-Sugar Manufacture." Translated 

from third German Edition by W. T. HaU and G. W. 
Rolfe, pp. 343. (New York.) 

* No attempt has been made to give a complete list of publica- 
tions relating to the sugar-beet in America. Only the most avail- 
able and most useful references have been included. 


296 Appendix A 

1910. SuRFACX, Q. T. "The Story of Sugar," pp. 238. (New 

Tork and London.) 

1911. JoDiDi, Samubl. '*The Sugar Beet and Beet Sugar," 

pp. 76. (Chicago.) 

1912. Brownb, C. a. "A Handbook of Sugar AnalysiB," pp. 

787. (New York.) 

1912. Blakbt, R. G. "The United States Beet Sugar Indus- 

try and the Tariff," pp. 286. (New Tork.) 

1913. Adams, R. L. "Field Manual for Sugar-beet Growers," 

pp. 134. (Chicago.) 

1914. Mackenzie, J. E. "The Sugars and their Simple Deriva- 

tives," pp. 236. (Philadelphia and London.) 

1915. Palmer, T. G. "Concerning Sugar." (Washington.) 

A loose leaf service. 

1917. RoLPH, G. M. "Something About Sugar," pp. 341. 

(San Francisco.) 

1918. Palmer, T. G. "Sugar-beet Seed," pp. 120. (New 



FaclB AhoMi Sugar (New Tork). 

Published weekly in the interest of American sugar production. 
Sugar (Chicago). 
Published weekly. An English-Spanish technical journal de- 
voted to sugar production. 
The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer (New Orleans and 
Published weekly. Chief interest is sugar-cane but devotes 
some space to sugar-beets. A Spanish edition is published 
monthly under the name of El Mundo Awtcarero, 
Through the Leaves (Longmont, Colorado). 
Published monthly by the Great Western Sugar Company in 
the interest of sugar-beet production. 
WiUeU and Gray's Statistical Stigar Trade Weekly Journal (New 
Gives data on world market conditions and supply of sugar. 
The International Sugar Journal (London, England). 
A monthly technical and commercial periodical devoted to 
sugar problems in all parts of the world. 
The Australian Sugar Journal (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia). 
Published monthly. 

A^g^pe/niix A Tfft 

BvUeliiu, Reports^ Etc, 

1838. "Report on Mulberry and Sugar Beet." April 20, 1838. 

U. S. 25th Gong., 2d Sees., Reports of Committees, Vol. 

3, No. 815. 
1853. Wilson, John. "Manufacture of Sugar from Beet Root." 

Trans. N. Y. State Agr. Soo., Vol. 13, pp. 114^136. 

1861. "Beet — Its Culture, Properties, and Qualities." Ohio 

State Board of Agr., 16th Ann. Rept., pp. 179-205. 

1862. "Beet Sugar." Ohio State Board of Agr-t 17th Ann. Rept., 

pp. 197-224. 

1864. " On the Beet Root as a Souroe of Sugar." Maine Board 

of Agr., 9th Ann. Rpt., pp. 168-171. 

1865. "Sugar Beets." Ohio State Board of Agr., 20th Ann. 

Rept., pp. 133-135. 
"Analyses of Sugar Beets." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Ann. 
Rpt. 1865, pp. 46-48. 

1868. BiBBBCK, John. "Manufacture of the Sugar Beet in the 

U. S." Jour. Franklin Inst., Phil., Vol. 85, p. 44. 

1869. "Beet-root Sugar." Michigan Sta. Board of Agr., 8th 

Ann. Rpt., pp. 216-225. 
Dbbt, JnuBN M. "American Beet-root Sugar." Scien- 
tific American, VoL 20. A series of 11 articles scattered 
through the volume from pp. 57 to 354. 

1871. GoEssMANN, C. A. "Report on the Production of Beet 

Sugar as an Agricultural Enterprise in Massachusetts." 
Mass. Agr. Coll., 8th Ann. Rpt. of Board of Trustees, 
pp. 43-80. 

1872. GoEssMANN, C. A. "Report of Sugar Beets Raised on the 

College Farm." Mass. Agr. Coll., 9th Ann. Rpt., 
Board of Trustees, pp. 31-63. 

1873. "Sugar-beet Machinery." Mass. Agr. Coll., 10th Ann. 

Rpt., Board of Trustees, pp. 87-93. 

1874. GoEssMANN, C. A. "Report of Experiments with Sugar 

Beets." Mass. Agr. Coll., 11th Ann. Rpt., Board of 
Trustees, pp. 41-52. 
1876. GoBSBMANN, C. A. "Experiments in the Cultivation of 
Sugar-beet Roots in the State of N. T." Trans. N. Y. 
State Agr. Soc., Vol. 32, pp. 163-169. 
Brackbtt, G. E. " Beet Sugar." Maine State Board of 
Agr., 21st Ann. Rpt., pp. 80-84. 

298 Appendix A 

1876. AuBBBT, A. B. "Notes upon the Culture and Manipuli^ 

tion of Sugar Beets." Maine State Board of Agr., 2l8t 
Ann. Rpt., pp. 166-178. 

1877. HuMPHBBT, H. C. ''Beet-sugar Interest." Penn. State 

Board of Agr., Ist Ann. Rpt., pp. 225-229. 

1878. Dbmbbzttb, Albert. ''Sugar-beet Culture." New Hamp- 

shire State Board of Agr., 8th Ann. Rpt., pp. 41^-416. 
Gbnkbbt, E. T. "BeetHsugar Industry in Maine." 

Maine State Board of Agr., 23d Ann. Rpt., pp. 174-181. 
HuMPBBBT, H. C. "Culture of Sugar Beets and Sugar 

Manufacture." Conn. Board of Agr., 11th Ann. Rpt., 

pp. 93-OT. 

1879. GoBSSMANN, C. A. "On the Cultivation of Sugar Beets 

and the Manufacture of Sugar." Mass. State Board 
of Agr., 27th Rpt., pp. 378-402. 

1880. McMuBTBiB, Wm. "Report of the Culture of the Sugar 

Beet and the Manufacture of Sugar Therefrom in 

France and the United States." U. S. Dept. of Agr., 

Special Report No. 28. 
1882. Gbnnbbt, E. T. "Beet-sugar Industry in America. 

Trans. N. Y. State Agr. Soo., Vol. 33, pp. 75-83. 
Warb, L. S., and Gbinbhaw, R. "Sugar-beet Industry." 

Jour. Franklin Inst., Vol. 113, pp. 292-298. 
1884. WiLBT.H.W. "Northern Sugar Industry." U.S. Dept. 

of Agr.. Div. of Chem., Bui. No. 3, pp. 24r-27. 
1887. HiLQABD, E. W. "Sugar Beets at Fresno." Cal. Sta. 

Bui. No. 72. 
Spbbcklbs, C. "Letter on Cultivation of Sugar Beets." 

Trans. Calif. State Agr. Soc., 1887, pp. 222-223. 

1889. Cassidt, Jas., and O'Brinb, D. "Potatoes and Sugar 

Beets." Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 7. 
Almt, a. H. "Growth of the Beet-sugar Industry." 
Pop. Sd. Monthly, Vol. 35, pp. 85-92 and 199-211. 

1890. WiLBT,H.W. "The 8ugai>beet Industry." U.S. Dept. 

of Agr., Div. of Chem., Bui. No. 27. 
WiLBT, H. W. "Experiments with Sugar Beets in 1890." 

U. S. Dept. of Agr., Div. of Chem., Bui. No. 30. 
O'Brinb, D. "Sugar Beets." Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 11. 
Nicholson, H. H., and Llotd, R. "Experiments in the 

Culture of Sugar Beets in Nebraska." Neb. Sta. BuL 

No. 13. 


Appendix A 299 

1890. "Experiments with Sugar Beets.*' Kansas Sta. 3d Ann. 
Rpt., pp. 145-149. 
Patbick, G. E. "Sugar Beets." Iowa Sta. Bui. No. 8. 

1801. Patrick, G. E., and Eaton, E. N. "Sugar Beets." 

Iowa Sta. Bui. No. 12. 
Wilson, Jas. "Sugar Beet Growing." Iowa Sta. Bui. 

No. 16. 
WiLBT,H.W. "Culture of Sugar Beets." U.S.Dept.of 

Agr., Farmers' Bui. No. 3. 
James, C. G. "Pitting the Sugar Beet." Ontario Exp. 

Sta. Bui. 63. 
Hbnrt, W. a. "Sugar Beet Culture in Wisconsin." 

Wis. Sta. Bui. No. 26. 
McLaren, Dice, and Slosson, E. E. "The Sugar Beet 

in Wyoming." Wyo. Sta. Bui. No. 3. 
O'Brine, D. "Progress Bulletin on Sugar Beets." Colo. 

Sta. Bui. No. 14. 
Huston, H. A. "Sugar Beets." Ind. Sta. Bui. No. 34, 

pp. 67-66. 
McDowell, R. H. "Sugar-beet Culture." Nev. Sta. 

Bui. No. 13. 
Nicholson, H. H., and Llotd, R. "Experiments in the 

Culture of Sugar Beets in Nebraska." Neb. Sta. Bui. 

No. 16. 
Harper, D. N., and Hats, W. M. "Sugar Beets." 

Minn. Sta. Bui. No. 14. 
Kedzie, R. C. "Beet Sugar." Mich. Sta. Bui. No. 71. 
Eedzib, R. C. "Sugar Beets, Results for 1891." Mich. 

Sta. Bui. No. 82. 
"Experiments with Sorghum and with Sugar Beets." 

Kansas Exp. Sta. Bui. No. 31. 

1802. Bruner, L. "Notes on Certain Caterpillars Attacking 

Sugar Beets.'^ Neb. Sta. Bui. No. 24. 
Pox, C. P. "Sugar Beets." Mo. Sta. Bui. No. 17. 
Harper, D. N. "Sugar Beets." Minn. Sta. Bui. No. 

Failter, G. H., and Willard, J. T. "Experiments with 

Sugar Beets." Kas. Sta. Bui. Nos. 31 and 36. 
Huston, H. A. "Sugar Beets." Ind. Sta. Bui. No. 39. 
WoLL, F. W. "Sugar Beet Experiments in Wisconsin in 

1801." Wis. Sta. Bui. No. 30. 

300 Appendix A 

1802. G088, A. "Experiments with Sugar Beets." New Mex. 

Sta. Bui. No. 8, pp. 3^-^. 
Shaw, G. W., and Lon, Dumont. " Sugar Beets." Ore. 

Sta. Bui. No. 17. 
Slosson, E. E. "Sugar Beets in 18d2." W70.Sta.Bul. 

No. 9. 
WiUBT, H. W. " Experiments with Suffar Beets in 1891." 

U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bur. Chem., Bui. 33. 
Watbgub, F. L. "Sugar-beet Culture." Colo. Sta. Bui. 

No. 21. 
Hickman, J. F. "Mangold Wursels and Sugar Beets." 

Ohio Sta. Bui., ser. 2, b. 5, No. 2. 
Ladd, E. F. "Sugar Beets; Experiments in North 

Dakota in 1891." N. D. Sta. Bui. No. 5. 
McDowell, R. H., and Wilson, N. E. "Sugar Beets." 

Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 19. 
Nicholson, H. H., and Llotd, R. "Experiments in the 

Culture of Sugar Beets in Nebraska." Neb. Sta. Bui. 

No. 21. 

1893. WiLBT, H. W., and Maxwell, W. "Experiments with 

Sugar Beets in 1892." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bur. 

Chem., Bui. No. 36. 
Shaw, G. W. "Sugar Beets in Oregon." Ore. Sta. Bui. 

No. 23. 
McDowell, R. H., and Wilson, N. E. "Sugar Beets." 

Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 23. 
Nicholson, H. H., and Lton, T. L. "Experiments in the 

Culture of Sugar Beets in Nebraska." Neb. Sta. Bui. 

No. 27. 
Failtbb, G. H., and Willabd, J. T. "Experiments with 

Sugar Beets." Kas. Exp. Sta. Bui. No. 43. 
Patbicx, G. E., Hbileman, W. H., and Eaton, E. N. 

"Sugar Beets in Iowa, 1892." Iowa Sta. Bui. No. 20. 
Huston, H. A. "Sugar Beets." Ind. Sta. Bui. No. 43. 
GiBD, R. " Culture of Sugar Beets." Trans. Calif. State 

Agr. Soo. 1893, pp. 102-107. 

1894. WiLBT, H. W., and Maxwell, W. "Experiments with 

Sugar Beets in 1893." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Div. of 
Chem., Bui. No. 39. 
Wilson, N. E. "Sugar Beets." Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 

Appendix A 301 

1894. Roberts, I. P. ''Co5perative Tests of Sugar Beets." 

Cornell Sta. Bui. No. 63. 

Nicholson, H. H., and Nicholson, £. E. "Experiments 
in the Culture of Sugar Beets in Nebraska." Neb. 
Sta. Bui. No. 36. 

Nicholson, H. H. ''Nebraska and the Beet-sugar In- 
dustry." Neb. Sta. Bui. No. 38. * 

Patrick, G. E., and Pagelsen, O. H. "Sugar Beets in 
Iowa, 1893." Iowa Sta. Bui. No. 23. 

FtTLMER, E. "Sugar Beets." Wash. Sta. Bui. No. 15. 

SL0680N, E. E. " Sugar Beets in 1893." Wyo. Sta. Bui. 
No. 17. 

1895. Huston, H. A. "Experiments with Sugar Beets." Ind. 

Sta. Bui. No. 55. 

1896. Wilson, W. E. "Sugar Beets." Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 32. 
FuLMER, Elton. "Experiments in the Culture of Beets 

in Washington." Wash. Sta. Bui. No. 26. 
Nicholson, H. H., and Lton, T. L. "Experiments in the 

Culture of Sugar Beets in Nebraska." Neb. Sta. Bui. 

No. 44. 
Sowers, E. "Sugar, An Industrial Opportunity for 

America." North Am. Rev., Vol. 163, pp. 316-325. 

1897. WiDTSOE, J. A. "Utah Sugar Beets." Utah Sta. Bui. 

No. 53. 
McDowell, R. H., and Wilson, N. E. "Sugar Beets." 

Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 37. 
Waters, H. J. "The Sugar Beet." Mo. Sta. Bui. No. 

Watrous, F. L. "Sugar Beets." Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 

Devol, W. S. "Sugar Beets." Ariz. Sta. Bui. No. 23. 
Henrt, W. a. "Beet-sugar Production; Possibilities 

for a New Industry in Wisconsin." Wis. Sta. Bui. No. 

Shaw, G. W. "Review of Oregon Sugar Beets." Ore. 

Sta. Bui. No. 44. 
Van Sltke, L. L., Jordan, W. H., and Churchill. 

"The Composition and Production of Sugar Beets." 

N. Y. Sta. Bui. No. 135. 
Marrow, G. E., and Bone, J. H. "Experiments with 

Field Crops." Okla. Sta. Bui. No. 33. 

302 Appendix A 

1897. Abmbbt, W. p. "The Sugur Beet in Pennsylvaiiia." 

Penn. Sta. Bui. No. 40. 
FviMMRf E. " Irrigation Ezperiments in Sugar-beet Cul- 
ture in North Takima Valley." Waah. Sta. Bui. No. 

1898. McDowiLL, R. H., and Wilson, N. E. "Sugar Beets." 

Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 43. 
FosTEB, LuTHKR. "Sugar Beets in 1898.'; Utah Sta. 

Bui. No. 69. 
Stone, J. L. "Sugar-beet Investigations." Cornell Sta. 

Bui. No. 143. 
Hbaddbn, W. p. "A Soil Study." "The Crop Grown : 

Sugar Beets." Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 46. 
Hall, F. H., and Van Sltkb, L. L. "Sugar Beet Suooess 

for the Season." N. Y. Sta. Bui. No. 155. 
WoLL, F. W. "Sugar Beet Investigations in Wisconsin 

during 1898." Wis. Sta. Bui. No. 64. 
Goss, A. "New Mexico Sugar Beets." New Mex. Sta. 

Bui. No. 26. 
SxLBT, A. D., and Bloomfibld, L. M. "Sugar Beet 

Investigations in 1897." Ohio Sta. Bui. No. 90. 
Slobson, E. E. "Wyomjng Sugar Beets." Wyo. Sta. 

Bui. No. 36. 
Wilbt, H. W. U. S. Dept. of Agr. "Special Report on 

the Beet-Sugar Industry in the United States." 
Satlor, C. F. "Progress of the Beet-sugar Industry in 

the United States in 1898." Government Printing 

Gobs, A., and Holt, A. M. "New Mexico Sugar Beets 

(1898)." New Mexico Sta. Bui. No. 29. 
HoLDBN, P. G., and Hopkins, C. G. "The Sugar Beet in 

Illinois." 111. Sta. Bui. No. 49. 

1898. Sntdbr, Harrt. "Sugar Beets, Summary of Investiga- 

tions from 1888 to 1898." Minn. Sta. Bui. No. 56. 
WiDTSOB, J. A. "Sugar Beets." Utah Sta. Bui. No. 63. 

1899. McClatchie, A. J. "Sugar Beet Experiments during 

1899." Ariz. Sta. Bui. No. 31. 
Wilson, N. E., and McDowbll, R. H. "Sugar Beets." 

Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 44. 
Sblbt, a. D. "Sugar Beet Investigations in 1898.'* 

Ohio Sta. Bui. No. 99. 


Appendix A 303 

1899. WoLL, F. W. "Sugar Beet Investagations in Wisoonsin 

during 1898." Wis. Sta. Bui. No. 71. 

DuGOAR, B. M. ''Fungous Diseases dt the Sugar Beet." 
Cornell Sta. Bui. No. 163. 

Stone, J. L. "Sugar Beet Investigations for 1898." 
Cornell Sta. Bui. No. 166. 

Wiley, H. W. " Experiments with Sugar Beets in 1897." 
U. S. Dept. of Agr., Div. of Chem., Bui. No. 52. 

Cooke, W. W. "Sugar Beets in Colorado in 1898." 
Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 51. 

Waters, H. J. "The Sugar Beet." Mo. Sta. Bui. No. 

Shaw, G. W. "Sugar-beet Experiments in 1898." Ore. 
Sta. Bui. No. 59. 

Armsby, W. p., and Hess, E. H. "Tests of the Sugar 
Beet in Pennsylvania." Penn. Sta. Bui. No. 47. 

Foster, L. "Sugar Beets in 1898." Utah Sta. Bui. No. 

Foster, L. "Sugar Beets in Sanpete and Sevier Coun- 
ties." Utah Sta. Bui. No. 63. 

Stewart, J. J., and Hite, B. H. "Sugar Beet Investiga- 
tions in 1898." West Va. Sta. Bui. No. 55. 

1900. Forbes, S. A., and Hart, C. A. "The Economic Ento- 

mology of the Sugar Beet." 111. Sta. Bui. No. 60. 
Headden, W. p. "A Soil Study. The Crop Grown: 

Sugar Beets." Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 58. 
McDowell, R. H., and Wilson, N. E. "Sugar Beets." 

Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 50. 
Selby, a. D. "Sugar Beet and Sorghum Investigations 

in 1899." Ohio Sta. Bui. No. 115. 
Wing, H. H., and Anderson, L. "Sugar-beet Pulp as a 

Food for Cows." Cornell Sta. Bui. No. 183. 
TowAR, J. D. "Sugar Beet Investigations." Mich. Sta. 

Bui. No. 179. 
Stone, J. L., and Clinton, L. A. " Sugar Beet Investiga- 
tions for 1899." Cornell Sta. Bui. No. 182. 

1901. Selby, A. D., and Ames, J. W. "Sugar-beet Investiga- 

tions in Ohio in 1900." Ohio Sta. Bui. No. 126. 
Wiley, H. W. "Influence of Environment upon the 
Composition of Sugar Beets, 1900." U. S. Dept. of 
Agr., Bur. of Chem., Bui. No. 64. 

304 Appendix A 

1901. Headdbn, W. p. "Sugar Beets." Colo. Sta. Bui. 

No. 63. 
Withers, W. A. "The Sugar Beet in North Carolina." 
N. C. Exp. Sta. Bui. No. 180. 

1902. Gbiffin, H. H. "Feeding Beet Pulp to Lambs." Colo. 

Sta. Bui. No. 76. 
McClatchie, a. J. "Irrigation at Station Farm, 189S- 

1901.'! Ariz. Sta. Bui. No. 41. 
TowAB, J. D. "Sugar Beet Experiments." 1901. 

Mioh. Sta. Bui. No. 197. 
Ames, J. W. " Sugar-Beet Investigations in 1901." Ohio 

Sta. Bui. No. 132. 
Fbeab, W., and Cabter, W. T. "Pennsylvania Sugar 

Beets in 1901." Penn. Sta. Bui. No. 59. 
Tbaphagen, F. W. "Sugar Beets in Montana." Mont. 

Sta. Bui. No. 33. 
Lton, T. L., and Wiancko, A. T. "Experiments in the 

Culture of the Sugar Beet in Nebraska." Neb. Sta. 

Bui. No. 73. 
WiDTSOE, J. A. "Irrigation Investigations." Utah Sta. 

Bui. No. 80. 

1903. Lton, T. L., and Wiancko, A. T. "Experiments on the 

Culture of Sugar Beets in Nebraska." Neb. Sta. Bui. 

No. 81. 
Chittenden, F. H. "The Principal Insect Enemies of 

the Sugar Beet." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Div. of Ent., 

Bui. No. 43. 
Wiley, H. W. "The Influence of Soil and Climate upon 

the Composition of the Sugar Beet, 1901." U. S. 

Dept. of Agr., Bur. of Chem., Bui. No. 74. 
Shaw, G. W. "The California Sugar Industry." Calif. 

Sta. Bui. No. 149. 
Wiley, H. W. "The Influence of Environment upon the 

Composition of the Sugar Beet, 1902, Including a Study 

of the Irrigated Sections." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bur. of 

Chem., Bui. No. 78. 
TowNSEND, C. O. "Relation of Sugar Beets to General 

Farming." U. S. Dept. of Agr. Yearbook, 1903, pp. 

Sboth, C. D. "Sugar-beet Experiments, 1902." Mich. 

Sta. Bui. No. 207. 

Appendix A 305 

1904. RiTTTBR, F. R. ** International Sugar Situation." U. S. 

Dept. of Agr., Bur. of Statistics, Bui. No. 30. 

Satlob, C. T. ** Methods and Benefits of Growing Sugar 
Beets." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Off. of Sec., Giro. No. 11. 

Tracy, J. E. W. "Sugar-beet Seed Breeding." U. S. 
Dept. of Agr. Yearbook, 1904, pp. 341-352. 

Traphagbn, F. W. "Sugar Beets." Mont. Sta. Bui. 
No. 52. 

Shaw, R. S. " Dried Beet Pulp and Dried Molasses-Beet- 
Pulp for Fattening Sheep." Mich. Sta. Bui. No. 220. 

Smith, C. D. "Experiments with Sugar Beets in 1903." 
Mich. Sta. Bui. No. 215. 

Merrill, L. A., and Clark, R. W. "Feeding Beet Mo- 
lasses and Pulp to Sheep and Steers." Utah Sta. Bui. 
No. 90. 

1905. TowNBBND, C. O., and Rittue. "The Development of 

Single-germ Beet Seed." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bur. of 
PL Ind., Bui. No. 73. 

Carltle, W. L., and Griffith, C. J. "Feeding Steers on 
Sugar-beet Pulp, Alfalfa Hay, and Ground Com." 
Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 102. 

Billings, G. A. I. "Dried Beet Pulp as a Substitute for 
Com Silage." II. "Dried Beet Pulp vs. Dried Mo- 
lasses Beet Pulp." III. "Dried Molasses Beet Pulp vs. 
Hominy Meal." N. J. Sta. Bui. No. 189. 

WoLL, F. W., and Humphrey, G. C. "Dried Beet Pulp 
or Molasses Beet Pulp for Dairy Cows." Wis. Ann. 
Rpt., 1905, pp. 108-117. 

Hills, J. L. "Feeding Value of Dried Molasses Beet- 
Pulp." Vt. 17th Ann. Rpt. (1904), p. 484. 

Shaw, G. W. "Tolerance of the Sugar Beet for Alkali." 
Cal. Sta. Bui. No. 169. 

WoLL, F. W. "The Beet-sugar Industry of Wisconsin." 
Wis. Sta. Bui. No. 123. 

WiLET, H. Ww "The Influence of Environment Upon 
the Composition of the Sugar Beet, 1903." U. S. 
Dept. of Agr., Bur. of Chem., Bui. No. 95. 

Wiley, H. W. "The Influence of Environment on the 
Composition of the Sugar Beet, 1904, Together with a 
Summary of the Five-year Investigation." U. S. Dept. 
of Agr., Bur. of Chem., Bui. No. 96. 

306 Appendix A 

1906. Ball, E. D. "The Beet Leafhopper." Utah Sta. 16th 

Ann. Rpt., p. 16. 
Shaw, G. W. ''Sugar Beets in the San Joaquin Vall^." 

Calif. Sta. Bui. No. 176. 
Habbison, G. B. '* The Beet-sugar Industry in Kansas." 

Rpt. Eas. State Board of Agr., Vol. 25, No. 99, pp. 3-32 

(Sept. 1906). 
TowNSBND, C. O. "Methods of Reducing the Cost of 

Producing Sugar Beets." U. S. Dept. of Agr. Yeaiv 

book, 1906, pp. 265-278. 
Daniblbon, a. H. "Fertilizer Experiments with Sugar 

Beets." Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 115. 
Clabk, R. W. ''Feeding Experiments with Cattle, 

Sheep, Swine, and Horses." Utah Sta. Bui. No. 101. 

1907. Fbasbb, S., Gilmobb, J. W., and Clabk, C. F. "Culture 

and Varieties of Roots for Stock-Feeding." Cornell 
Sta. Bui. No. 244. 

Satlob, C. F. "Progress of the Beet-sugar Industry in 
the United States in 1906." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Re- 
IKxrt No. 84. 

Shaw, R. S., and Nobton, H. W., Jr. "Dried Beet Pulp 
for Fattening Steers." Mich. Sta. Bui. No. 247. 

WoLL, F. W., and Stoddabt, C. W. " Sugar-beet Experi- 
ments During 1906." Wis. Sta. Bui. No. 150. 

1908. TowNSEND, C. O. "By-products of the Sugar Beet and 

their Use." U. S. Dept. of Agr. Yearbook, 1908, pp. 

Satlob, C. F. "Progress of the Beet-sugar Industry in 
the United States in 1907." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Re- 
port No. 86. 

Shbpabd, J. H. "Sugar Beets in South Dakota." S. D. 
Sta. Bui. No. 106. 

1909. Townbbnd, C. 0. "Conditions Influencing the Produc- 

tion of Sugar-beet Seed in the United States." U. S. 

Dept. of Agr. Yearbook, 1909, pp. 173-184. 
Cabltlb, W. L., and Mobton, G. E. "Carrying Range 

Steers Through Winter and Sugar Beets for Fattening 

Steers." Colo. Sta. Bui. No. 149. 
Ball, E. D. "The Leafhoppers of the Sugar Beet and 

their Relation to the Curly-leaf Condition." U. S. 

Dept. of Agr., Bur. of Ent., Bui. No. 66, Pt. 4. 

Appendix A 307 

1909. Shbpard, J. H. "Sugar Beets in South Dakota." South 

Dakota Sta. Bui. No. 117. 
Saylob, C. F. " Progress of the Beet-sugar Industry in the 

United States in 1908." U. S. Dept. Agr., Report No.90. 
TowNBBND, C. O. "The Sugar Beet." Cyc. Am. Agr., 

Vol. II, pp. 588-595. 
Chahbbblain, G. M., Jr. "The Manufacture of Beet 

Sugar." Cyc. Am. Agr., Vol. II, pp. 595-599. 

1910. Satlob, C. F. "Progress of the Beet-sugar Industry in 

the United States in 1909." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Re- 
port No. 92. 

WiLBT, H. W. "The Sugar Beet." U. S. Dept. of Agr., 
Farmers' Bui. No. 52 (Revised). 

Shepabd, J. H. "Growing Sugar-beet Seed in South 
Dakota." S. D. Sta. Bui. No. 121. 

Shaw, H. B. "The Curly Top of Beets." U. S. Dept. 
of Agr., Bur. Plant Ind., Bui. No. 181. 

RoBDiNO, F. W. "Irrigation of Sugar Beets." U. S. 
Dept. of Agr., Fanners' Bui. No. 392. 

1911. Kkight, C. S. "The Sugar-beet Industry in Nevada." 

Nev. Sta. Bui. No. 75. 
Shbpabd, J. H. "Growing Pedigreed Sugar-beet Seed in 
South Dakota." S. D. Sta. Bui. No. 129. 

1912. WiDTBOE, J. A., et al. "Irrigation Studies." Utah Sta. 

Buls. Nos. 116, 117, 118, 119, and 120. (1912.) 
Undbbwood, O. W., et <d. "Placing Sugar on the Free 

List." Report of Committee on Ways and Means, 

U. S. House of Rep., 62d Congress, 2d Session, Report 

No. 391, Mar. 5, 1912. 
FoBDNBT, J. W., et al, "Placing Sugar on the Free list." 

Minority Report, Committee on Ways and Means, 

U. S. House of Rep., 62d Congress, 2d Session, Report 

No. 391, Part 2, Mar. 7, 1912. 
Obton, W. a., et al. " The American Beet-sugar Industry 

in 1910 and 1911." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bur. of PI. 

Ind., Bui. No. 260. 
Palmbb, T. G. "Sugar at a Glance." Senate Doc. No. 

890, 62d Congress, 2d Session. 
Hbaddbn, W. P. "Deterioration in the Quality of Sugar 

Beets Due to Nitrates Formed in the Soil." Colo. 

Sta. Bui. No. 183. 

308 Appendix A 

1912. Lodge, H. C. '*The Sugfar Schedule." Speech before 

U. S. Senate, July 27, 1912. 

1913. Crittbnden, F. H. "Prinoipal Enemies of the Sugar 

Beet." U. S. Dept. Agr., Bur. of Ent., Bui. No. 43, 

pp. 71. 
Palmer, T. G. ''The Sugar Beet Industry of the United 

States." Published by the Author, Washington, D. C. 
Palmeb, T. G. "Reply to Critioism of Sugar at a 

Glance." Published by the Author, Washington, 

Benzel, H. H. "A Biochemical Study of the Curly-top 

of Sugar Beets." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bur. of PI. Ind., 

Bui. No. 277. 
Shepabd, J. H. ''Sugar-beet Culture in South Dakota." 

S. D. Sta. Bui. No. 142. 
Abel, M. H. "Sugar and Its Value as a Food." U. S. 

Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bui. No. 535. 
Edbon. "Damping-ofF and Root Rot Parasites of Sugar 

Beets." Phytopathology, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 76. 
Smoot, Reed. "The Wilson-Underwood Tariff Bill and 

the American Sugar Industry." Speech, U. S. Senate, 

Aug. 19, 1913. 

1914. TowNSEND, C. O. "LeafHspot, a Disease of the Sugar 

Beet." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers* Bui. No. 618. 
TowNSEND, C. O. "Sugar-beet Growing under Humid 

Conditions." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers* Bui. 

No. 568. 
TowNBEND, C. O. "Sugar-beet Growing under Irriga- 
tion.*' U. S. Dept. of Agr.. Farmers' Bui. No. 567. 
Andrews, Frank. "Statistics of Sugar in the United 

States and Its Insular Possessions, 1881-1912." U. S. 

Dept. of Agr., Bui. No. 66. 
Shaw, H. B. "Thrips as Pollinators of Beet Flowers." 

U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bui. No. 104. 
Knorr, F. " Irrigated Field Crops in Western Nebraska.^' 

Neb. Sta. Bui. No. 141, pp. 18-21. 

1915. Harris, F. S. "The Commercial Production of Sugar 

Beet Seed in Utah." Utah Sta. Bui. No. 136. 
Edson, H. a. "Seedling Diseases of Sugar Beets and 
their Relation to the Root-rot and Crown Rot.** Jour. 
Agr. Res., Vol. 4, pp. 135-168 (May 15, 1915). 

Appendix A 309 

1015. Besset, £. A., and Byabs, L. P. **The Control of Root- 
knot." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bnl; No. 648. 

Harris, F. S. "Effect of Alkali Salts in the Soil on the 
Germination and Growth of Crops.*' Jour. Agr. Res., 
Vol. 5, pp. 1-53 (Oct. 4, 1915). 

TowNSEND, C. O. "Field Studies of the Crown-gall 
of Sugar Beets." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bui. No. 

MiLLiKEN, F. B. "Grasshoppers and their Control on 
Sugar Beet and Truck Crops." U. S. Dept. of Agr., 
Farmers' Bui. No. 691. 

Shaw, H. B. "Sugar Beets: Preventable Losses in Cul- 
ture." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bui. No. 238. 

Incb, J. W. "Progress Report of Sugar Beet Trials." 
N. D. Sta. Bui. No. 113. 

Shaw, H. B. " Loss in Tonnage of Sugar Beets by Dry- 
ing." U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bui. No. 199. 

Habtttnq, W. J., and Sbverin, H. H. P. "Natural Ene- 
mies of the Sugar-beet Leafhoppers in California." 
Monthly Bui., Cal. Com. Hort., IV, pp. 277-280. 

Edbon, H. a. "Histological Relations of Sugar-beet 
Seedlings and Phoma betae." Jour. Agr. Res., Vol. 5, 
pp. 55-58 (Oct. 4, 1915). 

Pool, V. W., and McEat, M. B. "Phoma betae on the 
Leaves of the Sugar Beet." Jour. Agr. Res., Vol. 4, 
pp. 169-177 (May 14, 1915). 
1916. Pritchard, F. J. "Some Recent Investigations in Sugar 
Beet Breeding." Bot. Gaz., Vol. 41, No. 6, pp. 425- 
465 (Deo., 1916). 

Pritchard, F. J., and Longlt, L. E. "Experiments in 
Transplanting Sugar Beets." Jour. Am. Soc. Agron., 
Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 106-110. 

Shaw, H. B. " Control of the Sugar-beet Nematode.'* 
U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bui. No. 772. 

Pool, V. W., and McKat, M. B. " Relation of Stomatal 
Movement to Infection by Cercospora beticola." 
Jour. Agr. Res., Vol. 5, pp. 1011-1038 (Feb. 28, 

Pool, V. W., and McKat, M. B. "Climatic Conditions 
as Related to Cercospora beticola." Jour. Agr. Res., 
Vol. 6, pp. 21-60 (Apr. 3, 1916). 

310 Appendix A 

1016. Pbitchabd, F. J. "ConelAtiona between Morphological 

Chnraotera and the Saoeharine Content of Sugar 

BeetiL" Am. Jour. Botany, VoL 3, pp. 361-376 (July, 

Harbis, F. S.« and Hogsnbon, J. C. "Some Correlations 

in Sugar Beets." Genetios, Vol. I, pp. 334-347 (July, 

PuTCHABD, F. J. " Some Recent Investigations in Sugar- 
beet Breeding.*' Science, N. S., 43, p. 219. 
PncK, F. W. "The Cost of Pi!oducing Sugar Beets." 

Minn. Sta. BuL No. 164. 
TowNsnifD, C. O. "The Ftesent Status cit the Sugar- 
beet Seed Industry in the United States." U. S. Dept. 

of Agr. Yearbook, 1916, pp. 399-410. 
White, Wm. H. "The Sugai^beet Thiips." U. S. Dept. 

of Agr., BuL No. 421. 
1917. Federal Trade Commission, "Report on the Beet-sugar 

Industry in the United States." Gh>Yt. Printing Office. 
Harus, F. S. "The Irrigation of Sugar Beets." Utah 

Sta. Bui. No. 146. 
Ball, E. D. "The Beet Leafhopper and the Curly-leaf 

Disease That It Transmits." Utah Sta. Bui. No. 

TowNSSND, C. 0.» and Gobb, H. C. " Sugaivbeet Syrup." 

U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bui. No. 823. 
Elliott, Pbbbt. "Production of Sugar in the United 

States and Foreign Countries." U. S. Dept. of Agr., 

Bui. No. 473. 
Sbbpabd, J. H., and Shxbwood, R. C. "Sugar Beets in 

South Dakota." S. D. Bui. No. 173. 
Adams, R. L. "Fundamentals of Sugar-beet Culture 

under California Conditions." Calif. Sta. Cir. 165. 
Pbtbisino, W. L. "The Beet Sugar Industry and live 

Stock Production." Qreat Western Sugar Co., Agr. 

Dept., Bui. No. 2 (Jan., 1917). 
Palmbb, T. G. "Questions and Answers Concerning 

Sugar." Published by the Author, Washington, D. C. 
The World's Sugar Supply. Published by the National 

Bank of Commerce in N. Y. (Dec., 1917). 
Andbbw, Fbank. " Sugar Supply of the United States." 

U. S. Dept. of Agr. Yearbook, 1917, pp. 447-460. 

Appendix A 311 

1918. WojTA, J. F., and Wright, A. H. " How to Succeed with 
Sugar Beets." Wis. Ext. Serv. Circular No. 103. 
Javitz, C. a., and Mason, A. W. "Sugar Beets." 

Ontario Agr. College Bui. No. 262. 
MooBHOUSB, L* A,, et aL " Farm Praotioe in Growing 
Sugar Beets for Three Districts in Utah and Idaho, 
1914-1915.*: U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bui. No. 693. 



Compiled by Truman G. Palmer 

Alameda Sugar Company, Executive Offioe, 310 Sansome 
Stareet, San Franoisoo, Ci^omia, Capital $1,500,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Alvarado, Calif 1870 800 tons 

Rebuilt, 1879; 1887 

Amdtgamated Sugar Company. Executive Office, Ogden, Utah. 
Capital, $5,824,000. 

Factoriee Erected Capacity 

Ogden, Utah 1898 1,000 tons 

Logan, Utah 1901 600 tons 

Lewiston, Utah ...... 1905 800 tons 

Burley, Idaho 1912 600 tons 

Twin Falls, Idaho 1916 600 tons 

Brigham City, Utah .... 1916 500 tons 

Paul, Idaho 1917 500 tons 

Smithfield, Utah 1917 500 tons 

American Beet Sugar Company. Executive Offioe, 32 Nassau 
Street, New York City. Capital, $20,000,000. 

Factoriee '^^ Erected Capacity 

Grand Island, Neb 1890 500 tons 

Chino, CaHf 1891 1,100 tons 

Oxnard, Calif 1898 3,000 tons 

Rocky Ford, Colo 1900 1,800 tons 

Lamar, Colo. ....... 1905 500 tons 

Las Animas, Colo 1907 1,000 tons 


Appendix B 313 

Anaheim Sugar Company. Executive Office, Merchants Na- 
tional Bank Building, Los Angeles, Calif. Capital, $547,800 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Anaheim, Calif 1911 1,200 tons 

Chippewa Sugar Refining Company, Executive Office, 428 
Grand Avenue, Milwaukee, Wis. Capital, $500,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Chippewa Falls, Wis 1904 600 tons 

Columbia Sugar Company. Executive Office, Bay City, Mich. 
Capital, $3,000,000. 

Factories Erected Capacity 

Bay City, Mich 1901 1,500 tons v 

Paulding, Ohio ...... 1910 900 tons 

Continental Sugar Company. Executive Office, 520 Lafayette 
Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan. Capital, $1,732,400. 

Factories Erected Capacity 

Fremont, Ohio 1900 468 tons 

Blissfield, Mich 1905 868 tons 

Findlay, Ohio 1911 871 tomi 

Delta Beet Sugar Corporation. Executive Office, Delta, Utah. 
Temporary Corporation. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Delta, Utah ....... 1917 1,000 tons 

Garden City Sugar and Land Company. Executive Office, Mining 
Exchajige Building, Colorado Springs, Colo. Capital, 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Garden City, Kansas .... 1906 1,000 tons 

314 Appendix B 

Gr0tU Wuiern Sugar Company, Exeoutive Office, Sugar Build- 
ing, Denver, Colo. Capital, $30,000,000. 

FactoriM Erected Capaeiiy 

Loveland, Colo 1901 1,950 tons 

Qreeley, Ohio 1902 1,050 tons 

Eaton, Colo 1902 1,200 rons 

Ft. Collins, Colo 1903 2,150 tons 

Windsor, Colo 1903 1,150 tons 

Longmont, Colo 1903 2,350 tons 

Ster&ng, Colo 1905 1,050 tons 

Brush, Colo 1906 1,100 tons 

Ft Morgan, Colo 1906 1,200 tons 

Billings, Mont 1906 2,000 tons 

SoottoblufT, Neb 1910 2,000 tons 

Lovell, Wyoming 1916 600 tons 

Gering, Neb 1916 1,100 tons 

Bayard, Neb 1917 1,000 tons 

Missoula, Mont 1917 1,000 tons 

Brighton, Colo 1917 1,000 tons 

HoUand'St. Louis Sugar Company. Exeoutive Office, Holland* 
Mioh. Capital, Sl,695,340. 

Factories Erected Capacity 

Holland, Mioh 1899 500 tons 

St. Louis, Mioh 1903 600 tons 

Deoatur, Ind 1912 800 tons 

HoUy Sugar Corporation. Exeoutive Office, Boston Building, 
Denver, Colo. Capital, $4,781,700 outstanding. 

Factories Erected Capacity 

Grand Junction, Colo.^ . • . 1899 700 tons 

Swink, Colo 1906 1,200 tons 

Huntington Beach, Calif. . . 1911 1,200 tons 

Independent Sugar Company. Executive Office, Bay City, 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Marine City, Mich 1900 600 tons 

1 Leased by Holly Sugar Corporation. 

Appendix B o, - 

Factory _, 

^averly.lowa . . . ^^^ Capacity 

'"'"ti.llSS.go":^''''- «»«««ve Office. LaytoB. Utah. 7api. 
lAyton, Utah . -E'rcc/cd Copoci^y 

^* ^ WW ^^ C. '^^^ ^'^'^''' 

Building, Lo's A^X''6j''T^'^??^-^^ ^^^- Electric 
Factory "^ '^^ ^'^' Capital, $500,000. 

Los Alamitos, Calif. ^^^ Capacity 

M^rtn^' r. ' ' • • 1897 800 tons 
J^enomtnee River Suonr n 

nee, Mich. Capi^, ^^^^OD Executive Office, Menomi- 

Factory ' 

Menominee, Mich. tit^"^ CapacUy 

j^. ^. ' ' ^^^ 1,200 tons 

^^•^^^AT'c^^illO^^^on l^st Build. 

Bay City, Mich. . ^""f^ CapacUy 

Alma Mioh. . i " ' ' ' ||8» 1.400 tow 

pf^'.^**- •••'*• lis 1400 tons 

^^Uton,Mioh. . . ' ' • \^ 1,200 tons 

^8weM,Mich. . ■ • • }^ 900 tons 

Sebewamg, Mich. . \^ 760 tons 

Jl^»««e«,to ^«^«, ,, • • • . 1902 ^^^':^:'^"^- Executive Office. Chaaka, Miim. 

Fa^Uory _ 

Cliaska, Minn. . . -^;^^ Capacity 

w, ^, • • • ^^^ 800 tons 

^*. Clemens Suoar r^^ 

Mich. CapiS ^.SSSf" ®''*^*^'^' '^'^^ B»y City. 
Mt. Clemens, Mich. fl^'"* Capacity 

1802 600 tons 

316 Affpeniix B 

National Sugar Manufaeturing Company. Executive Office, 
Sugar City, Colo. Capital, $750,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Sugar City, Colo 1900 500 tons 

Nevada-Utah Sugar Company. Ezeoutive Office, Salt Lake City, 
Utah. Capital, $500,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Fallon, Nevada 1011 500 tons 

(Control acquired by Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, 1016) 

Northern Sugar Corporation. ExeSoutive Office, Union Trust 
Building, Detroit, Mich. Capital, $1,250,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Mason City, Iowa 1917 1,200 tons 

Ohio Sugar Company. Executive Office, Ottawa, Ohio. Capital, 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Ottawa, Ohio 1912 600 tons 

Remodeled 1917 

Owoeeo Sugar Company. Executive Office, Bay City, Mich. 
Capital, $1,875,000. 

Factories Erected Capacity 

Lansing, Mich 1901 600 tons 

Owosso, Mich 1903 1,200 tons 

Pacific Sugar Corporation. Executive Office, 74 New Montgom- 
ery Street, San Francisco, Calif. Capital, $2,000,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Tracy, Calif 1917 600 tons 

Appendix B 317 

PeopWs Sugar Company. Executive Office, 712 Mclntyre 
Building, Salt Lake City, Utah. Capital, $765,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Moroni, Utah 1917 400 toner 

Pingree Sugar Company. Executive Office, 311 California Street, 
San Francisco, Calif. Capital, $1,000,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Corcoran, Calif 1908 600 tons 

Charles Pope. Executive Office, 332 South Michigan Avenue, 
Chicago, 111. 

Factory ' Erected Capacity 

Riverdale, 111 1905 500 tons 

Rock County Sugar Company. Executive Office, Bay City, Mich. 
Capital, $800,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Janesville, Wis. . , . . . 1904 700 tons 

Sacramento Valley Sugar Company. Executive Office, 602 I. W. 
Hellman Building, Los Angeles, Calif. Capital, $2,210,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Hamilton City, Calif 1906 700 tons 

San Joaquin Vcdiey Sugar Company. Executive Office, 311 
Cahfomia Street, San Francisco, Calif. Capital, $1,000,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Visalia, Calif 1906 400 tons 

Santa Ana Sugar Company. Executive Office, Boston Building, 
Denver, Colo. Capital, $596,200. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Dyer, Calif 1912 1,200 tons 

(P. O. address, Santa Ana, 

318 Appendix B 

Sheridan Sugar Company. Exeoatiye Offioe, Boston Buflding, 
Denyer, Colo, Capital, $730,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Sheridan, Wyo 1915 900 tons 

Southern Calif omia Sugar Company. Executive Oifioe, Boston 
Building, Denver, Colorado. Capital, $500,000 outstand- 

Factory Erected Capacity 

New Delhi, Calif 1908 600 tons 

(P. O. address, Santa Ana, 
(Aoquired by Holly Sugar Corporation, 1916.) 

SpreckeU Sugar Company. Ezeoutive Offioe, 60 California St., 
San Frandsoo, Calif. Capital, $5,000,000. 

Factories Erected Capacity 

Spreokels, Calif 1899 4,500 tons 

Manteoa, Calif 1917 1,200 tons 

Toledo Sugar Company. Executive Offioe, Union Trust Build- 
ing, Detroit, Mioh. Capital, $485,900. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Toledo, Ohio ....... 1912 1,100 tons 

Union Sugar Company. Executive Office, 310 Sansome Street, 
San Francisco, Calif. Capital, $3,000,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Betteravia, Cahf 1899 1,000 tons 

United States Sugar Company. Executive Offioe, 428 Grand 
Avenue, Milwaukee, Wis. Capital, $700,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Madison, Wis 1905 600 tons 

Appendix B 319 

UtaMdaho Sugar Company, Executive Office, Salt Lake City, 
Utah. Capital, $23,626,350 issued. 

Factories Erected Capacity 

Lehi, Utah 1891 1,200 tons 

Garland, Utah 1903 900 tons 

Idaho Falls, Idaho 1903 900 tons 

Blackf oot, Idalio 1904 800 tons 

Sugar, Idaho 1904 900 tons 

Elsinore, Utah 1911 750 tons 

Payson, Utah 1913 750 tons 

Spanish Fork, Utah .... 1916 1,000 tons 

West Jordan, Utah 1916 750 tons 

Grant's Pass, Ore 1916 750 tons 

Shelley, Idaho 1917 750 tons 

North Takima, Wash 1917 750 tons 

West Bay City Sugar Company, Executive Office, Bay City, 
W. S., Mich. Capital, $200,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

West Bay City, Mich 1899 900 tons 

West Cache Sugar Company, Executive Office, 39 Main Street, 
Logan, Utah. Capital, $800,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Cornish, Utah 1917 600 tons 

Wisconsin Sugar Company. Executive Office, 428 Grand Avenue, 
Milwaukee, Wis. Capital, $800,000. 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Menomonee Falls, ^s. . . . 1897 600 tons 

RebuHt 1901 

Wyoming Sugar Company. Executive Office, 618 David Eccles 
Building, Ogden, Utah. Capital, $1,000,000 

Factory Erected Capacity 

Worland, Wyo 1917 600 tons 





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Aohord produced fint oommeroial 

sugar, 10. 
Acid soils, 68. 

Adaptations of beets, climatic, 37. 
Agriculture stabilised by beets, 261. 
Air in the soil, 62. 
Alkali, effect on beets, 66, 67. 
Arabian sugar, first record of, 7. 
Army-worms, 187-189. 
Arundo aaceharifera, 268. 
Availal^Uity of plant food in soil, 


Bacteria in the soil, 70. 
Baderiutn teuOium Met., 202. 
Bamboo as source of sugar, 7. 
by-products : 

composition of, 160. 
rrtation to live-stock industry, 

advantages of, 92. 
types of, 94. 
crown and top, proportions, 169. 
cultivators, 124. 

improves labor problem, 266. 
increases business, 266. 
diseases, 198-204. 
dumps, 166. 
farmer, personal requirements of, 

flower and seed description, 34. 
harvesting implements, 161-164. 
insect pests of, 184-198. 
land, depth to plow, 108. 
leafhopper, 197. 

Beet: — CcnUnued 
molasses as a by-product, 177- 

plows, 161, 162, 164. 
pulp, 168-176. 
dry, 169, 173. 
loss in siloing, 168. 
racks, types of, 166. 
-root aphis {PemphiQua betas 

Doane), 194. 
-rust (JJromycea hetae Kuhn), 202. 
amount and depth to sow, 116. 
importation of, 216-219. 
storage of sugar in, 29, 30. 
-sugar extraction, opposition to, 

-sugar factories, 3. 
of America, 312. 
-sugar industry, 1. 

causes of early failures, 18. 
development of, 6. 
legislation on, in U. S., 19, 21. 
Beetles harmful to beets, 193. 
Beet-raising : 

and community welfare, 260-267. 
increased land value by, 2. 
adapted to irrigation farming, 

and national independence, 267. 
botanical grouping, 22. 
climatic adaptation, 37, 43. 
commercial fertiliser for, 77-81. 
cultivation of, 123. 
early history of, 8. 
economic adaptation, 44. 
educational value of culture, 264. 




Bwts: — ConHnusd 

first uied as itoek food* 9. 

hauling to market, 155. 

plant food requirementa of, 74. 

preparation for ♦■hinning, 117. 

promote good farming, 252. 

ahape, eifeot of irrigation on« I4i. 

aiae, irrigation appUoationa for, 

•oil adaptation, 48. 

storing at faotory, fi68. 

Buggeative rotations for, 00, 90. 

time to irrigate, 183-186. 

time to prepare seed-bed for, 106. 

waahing and weii^iing at factory, 

water requiiemsBts of, 181. 

recent derelopments, 20, 21. 
suooeases in U. S., first, 19. 

produetion of U. 6. by states, 322. 

produetion of various countries, 
Beet tops, ISo^xfio. 

composition of, 150, 160. 

hay from, 162. 

methods of fMUng, 161, 162. 

silage from, feeding, 106-168. 

siloing, 168-166. 

value of, as food, 180. 

yield of, 158, 150. 
Bengal, eugax^^ane in, 7. 
Bela wigaris species of plants, 22. 
Blister-beetles, 187. 
Blocking and tliimifng beerts, 118. 
Botanical grouping of beets, 22. 
Boys and girls benefited by beet 

raising, 4. 
Braail, sugar-cane in, 7. 
Breeding sugar-best seed, 221. 

Increases utth beet euHure, 256. 

stabilised by beet iBising, 4. 
By-products of: 

seed production, 228. 

sugar-beets, 18B-188. 

California, first successful beet 

factories, 10. 
Cane-sugar (see sugar-cane). 
Capital requirements of beets, 48. 
Caradnna (lapkygfna) exioua Hbn., 

OatUe, feeding beet by-products to, 
161, 166, 167, 170-174. 178- 
OBUtrifugUig xbe massecnite, 204. 
Cereo9pora beHeola Bacc., 190. 
Children profit from beet culture, 

China, sugar-cane in, T. 
Chk>rophyll, 28. 
Chry$pmeHdaet 198. 
Classification of sofis, 87. 
Climate, effect on quality of beets, 

Climatic adaptation of beetSi 87-48. 
extraction of sugar, first, 10. 
fertiliser for beets. 77-81. 
production of beet seed, 228. 
use of sugar, first, 8. 
Common army-worm, 188. 
Community benefited by beet 

raising, 4. 
Competing crops of bestir M* 
Composition of : 
sugar, 276. 
sugar-beet, 160. 
by-products, 160. 
tops, 169. 
Consumption of : 
sugar in U. S., 5. 
world sugar supply, 284-286. 
for labor on sugar-beets, sample 

of, loa 
to raise beets : 
advantages of, 02. 
items included in, 98. 
samples of, 95-100. 
types of, 94. 
Correlation, sise and sugar content 
of beet, 33. 



Cossettes, SdL 
and profit on beets, raUtion to 

acres raised, 287-a4a 
of srowing beets, 231-249. 
baaed on time, 240-240. 
in various sections, 234. 
of produeing beet seed, 2d0. 
Crop : 
competition of suiv-beet^ 44. 
rotatioDS : 
princ^lea covemixig, 8& 
reasons for, 86. 
Qrowns and topi . of beets, pro- 
portion of, 159. 
Crystallisiac beel lamp at laetory, 

Cuba, sugar-cane in, 8. 
GulUvatiDt beets, 123. 
Cultivation p^^^iti^ to thinning, 

118. , 
Curly-top or curly-leaf of beets, 

Cutwomft, 190. 
Csrprat, smftreane In* 7. 

Damping-off disease, 204. 
Deep plotdng best for beets, 2. 
Depth t6 pkm beet land, 109. 
Development of beet-sugar in- 

dostiy, ^. 

processes of, 161. 

time to begin, 149, IdO. 
Dingley Act of 1897, favorable 

effect, 19. 
EKsBJCohltirids, 276. 
Diseases of beets, 198-204. 
Drainage : 

reasons for, efifoets of, 144, 146. 

system, installing, 147. 
DraiAS, kinds of, 146. 
Dried Aigar-beet pulp, 169. 
Drought in early fall, danger from, 

Drying, effect oxt <]Uality of beets, 

Dyer sugar-beet factory first ftucoess 
in Uik, 19. 

Economic adaptation of beets, 44. 
Elateridae (Wirewonns), 192. 
Euphrates valley, sugar-cane in, 


beet-sugar industry, eariy, 15. 

coimtries, early sugar supply, 8. 

introduction of sugar-cane^ 7. 

sugar factories, number of, S. 
EiUMx im€aa Baker, 197. 
Extracting beet juice in factory, 

Extraction of beetf«uggr : 

first method, 9. 

percentage recovered now, 266. 

Factories : 
for beets, eariy failures in U. S., 

in U. S. and Europe, 3. 
Factors affecting quality of beets, 

essential factors for success, 52. 
first in U. S., 16. 
process of sugar making, 258^268. 
Failures of early beet industry in 

U. 8., 16-18. 
Fall anny-worm, 189. 
Fall plowing for sugar-beets, 106. 
Farming improved by beet culture, 

Farm manure : 
conser^ng, 84. 
for sugar-beets, 82. 
beet pulp to: 
cattle, 170-174. 
horses, 176. 
pigs, 175. 
sheep, 174, 175. 
beet tops : 
methods, 161, 162. 
silage from, 16&-168. 




determination of loil, 70. 

maintenance of, 75. 

of soil, elements of, 00. 

requirements of beets, 74. 

oommercial, for beets, 77-^1. 

home-miang of, 82. 

indirect, 81. 
Flearbeetles, 103. 

Flower and seed of sugar-beets, 34. 
Food, value of sugar as, 270-283. 
Frederick the Great fostered beet- 
sugar industry, 11. 
Frederick William lU aided first 

beet factory, 11. 

and beating of siloed beets, 167. 

effect on quality of beets, 211. 

-in of beets, 140. 
French encouragement to beet- 
sugar industry, 11-13. 

danger during harvest, 140. 

effect on growing beets, 30. 

as source of sweet, 7. 

sugar in, 278. 

German encouragement to beet- 
sugar industry, 13, 16. 
Germination power of seed, im- 
portance of, 214, 218. 
Grasshoppers, 103. 
Green-manures, use of, 86. 
Growth : 

habit of sugar-beets, 23. 

of beet-sugar industry, 8. 

of beet plant, 26-20. 

of industry, factors affecting, 2. 
Guadeloupe, sugar-cane in, 8. 
Gypsum as a fertiliser, 81. 

Hail, effect on beet growing, 42. 
Harvesting : 

and threshing beet seed, 227. 

beets, time of, 148-160. 

Harreiting: — ConHtmid 
implements, 161-164. 
processes of, 161. 
Hauling beets, 166. 
Hay from sugar-beet tope, 102. 
Heart^rot of beets {^koma bdae 

Frank), 200. 
Heating and fkeesing of siloed 

beets, 167. 
Heat in the soil, 08. 
Heierodera wehaehiU Sehmidt, 106. 
Hoeing sugar-beets, fmportanoe 

of, 122. 
Holding water off to bring maturity, 

Home-mixing of lertlUssr, 82. 
Honey formerly chief source of 

sweet, 7. 
Horses, feeding beet fay-produots 

to, 108, 176, 180. 
Humus in the soU, 04. 

Implements for : *' "^ 

harvesting beets, 161-164. 

preparing beet seed-bed, 110. 
Importation of beet seed, 210, 

Increase of sugar in beets, 0. 
India, as source of sugar, 7. 
Indirect fertilisers, 81. 
Injury to beets by inseet pests, 

Insecticides, 186. 
Insect pests of beets, 184-106. 
Iron sulfate as a fertOiser, 81. 
Irrigation : 

amount to give beets, 181-188. 

before plowing, benefits, 110. 

effect on beet, 137-144. 

methods of, 130. 

of beets, 120-144. 

preparation of land for, 120. 

sise of each application, 130. 

time to apply to beets, 133-136. 

soiuroes of, 127. 
terms used with, 120. 



Juice of beets : 
eTaporstioii, 263. 
extraction, 261. 
purification, 262. 

agreement or contract, sample of, 

and cost of beet production, 240- 

furnished boys and girls by beets, 

problem in beet growing, 45. 
stabilised by beet growing, 255. 
Laeknoaiemaspp. (white grubs), 191. 
drainage, 144-147. 
values increased by beet raising, 
LaphygmafrtiOip^'^ S. and A., 189. 
Leaf-beetles, 193. 
Leafhopper EtUettix teneUa Baker, 

Leaf-spot Cereoapora beticola Sacc., 

Legislation : 

factor ip beet-sugar industry, 1. 
in U. S., effect on sugar industry, 

19, 21. 
unfavorable to early beet in- 
dustry, 13. 
Legumes as green-manure, 85. 
Length of beets, effect of irrigation 

on, 141. 
Laucania unipunda Haw., 188. 
Leveling land for irrigation, 129. 
Lexoatege sp,, 190. 
Lifting or loosening beet im- 

pleinents, 151, 152. 
as a by-product of beet factory, 

as a fertiliser, 68, 81. 
Livestock : 
feeding beet pulp to, 169-176. 
feeding beet-tops to, 161, 162, 
166, 167, 168. 

Livestoek: — ConHnued 
relation to beet-sugar industry, 
Losses in weight, harvesting beets, 

Louisiana, sugar-cane in, 8. 

Madeira, sugar-cane introduced 

into, 7. 

for sugar-beets, 82. 

how best to use, 84. 

storing of, 84. 

and rotations, 73-91. 

with green-manure, 85. 
Marggraf first obtained beet-sugar, 

Martinique, sugar-cane in, 8. 
Massachusetts, first beet factory 

of, 16. 
Massecuite, oentrifuging, 264. 
Maturity, indications of* in beet, 

Mechanical harvesters or toppers, 

Medicine, use of sugar as, 6. 
Mexico, sugar-cane in, 8. 
Moisture : 

effect on beet growing, 40, 42. 

in the soil, 64. 
Molasses, feeding value and com- 
position, 177-181. 
Monosaccharids, 276. 
Moors took sugar-cane to Spain, 7. 
Mother beets : 

planting of, 225. 

testing for quality, 221, 222. 

Napoleon encoiuraged beet-sugar 

industry, 11, 12. 
National independence increased 

by home sugar, 4. 
Natural sugars, 277, 278. 
Nebraska, first sugar factories of, 

Nematode, sugar-beet, 195. 



Nitrogen fertiliMr for beete. 74. 78. 
^ocMflfaw (eutvoou). 100. 
Number of beet faotoriee i« U. S. 

Oliver de StKiee reoords iweet* 

neoB of beets, 0. 
OoejMTtiaoa&iit Th«xt., 201. 
Organio matter in the soiL 03. 
Origin of soils, 56. 
Osmosis, 27. 
Oxnard BrotbMTS. early interest in 

beet industry, 10. 

PemphtQUB betm DoaM» 104. 

Persia, sugar-qana in* 7. 

Parts and disaaite of beats. 184* 

Phoma. 204. 
Phoma b€la0 Frank. 200. 
Phosphoric add fertiliser for beets, 

74. 77. 70. 
Pigi. feeding beat by-prodiwta to. 
167, 168. 176, 176, 180, 181. 
PlanVbreeding. aid of to beete. 6. 
Planlrf ood : 
in the soil. 60. 
requirements of beats. 74. 
Planting : 
beat seed. 113-115. 
mothers or steoklinge. 225. 
Pliny on sugar in Arabia and 

India. 7. 
Plowing : 
beat deptha for beets. 10& 
reasons for thoroughness in. 104. 
time of, for beets, 106. 
Population inereases with beet 

culture. 256. 
Portugal. King of. dispersed sugar- 
cane. 7. 
Potash fertiliser for beets. 74. 77, 

Precipitation, effect on beet grow- 
ing. 42. 
Preparation of beet land for irriga- 

Preparing seed-bed, effect of pro* 

vious crop. 103. 
Price of land increassd by baet 

raising, 2. 
Prices of first sugar, 8. 
Profits from seed production, 230. 
Prosperity follows beet culture, 256. 
Puddled sofl. 62. 
Pulp from sugar-beats, 168-170. 

dried, 169. 

Ums in siloing. 168. 
Pythium. 204. 

Quality of beeta. faotora effsoting, 

Rainfall, effect en b#et grovtng. 

Rhisoctonia of beet, 203, 204. 

before digging tune, danow of. 

indications of, 149. 
period, water requirementa. 150. 
Rolling beet seed-bed, 111, 116. 

Root-rot or Rhisoctonia, 203. 
Root tip* and waste sugar-beets 

for feeding. 176. 
Rotations, 8fr-91. 

Salt as a fertiliser. 81« 

tu«i|jj«g and taring beets on 

delivery, 156. 
San Domingo, sugar oana in. 8. 
Scab of beet (OotpoiHi fcoMM Thaxt) , 

Soienos. aid to beat>sugar induatry. 

Sedentary soils. 58. 
amount to sow, 114. 116. 
and flower of sugar-beet, 34. 
final preparation. 111. 
preparation and planting, 103- 



Seed: — ConlHtrmed 

crop, care during growtli, 23S. 

faoU»r» ehowmg quality, 112. 

harvesting and thnMAimg of, 227. 

importation of, 216-219. 

production, 213-230. 
by-products of, 228. 
oofBmereial method of, 238. 
in U. 8., 216. 

quality, importance of, 213, 214. 

raising, profits from, 230. 

sources of, 210. 

jrietd of, 229. 
Selection of mother beets, 221, 222. 
Sheepy feeding beei by-produets to, 

167, 174, 175, 180. 
Sicily, sugat^cane in, 7. 
Sfgns of ripening in beet, 149. 
Silage from beet tope, use of, 166- 


beets, 1B7. 

beet tops, 163-166. 

stecklinge, 224. 
Single-germ seed, 220. 
Sirup as source of sweet, 7. 
Size of beet and sugar content, 33. 
Slicing beets in factory, 261. 
Soft-rot of beets {Bacitrinm teid- 

Hum Met.). 202. 

acidity, 68. 

adaptation of beets^ 49. 

air in, 93. 

alkaU, 66. 

and subsoil, 58. 

bacteria of, 70. 

determining fwtiliser needs of, 

effect dn quality of beets, 210. 

fertility : 

elements of, 69. 
maittteofloice of, 76. 

heat, 63. 

moisture, 64. 

organic matter of, 03. 

organisms, 70. 

Soil: — Continued 
plant food in, 69. 
relation to beet culture, S4, (>5. 
structure, 61. 
texture, 69, 00. 
tilth, unpfou'emeBt of, 01. 
adapted to sogsr-beele, 71. 
classification of, 57. 
origin of, 56. 
Soot as a fertSlser, 81. 
Spain, sugar-oane taken to eariy» 7. 
Spreckels early sugar factory, 19. 
Stand of beets, importance of» 115, 

Stecklinge, 223, 225. 
Steffen process of extrsctittg sugar, 

Stomata, 28. 
of beets, eHfeot on quality, 211, 

of sugar in beet, 29, 30. 
beets at factory, 208. 
stecklinge, 224« 
Structure of soils, 61. 
Subsoil, 58. 

Subsoiling for beets, 109. 
Suooessfij commercial beet sugar 
production in V. S., 18-21. 
Sucrose in beet, eflPect of irrigation 

on, 139, 140. 
consumption of iier capita, 284- 

content, relation to sise of beet, 

early sources and prices of > 8. 
early use of, 6. 
extraction : 

early improrements ux, 13. 
extraction from beets : 
first, 9. 

in U. S. by states, 322. 
in various countries, 326. 
opposition to, early, 10. 



Sugar: — ContinuBd 

beet, 3. 

in America, present, 312. 

rapid growth in U. S., 20. 
first oommeroial extraction from 

beets 10. 
future supply of, 201. 
in beet: 

factors aflFectlng, 31, 32. 

first discovery, 9. 
increase in consumption, 283. 

causes of early failures, 18. 

in U. S., early, 10. 
in nature, 277, 278. 
introduction into : 

commerce, 8. 

diet of Europeans, 8. 
kinds and properties, 275. 
making of, 268-207. 
percentage extracted from beets, 

production of : 

Europe, early, 16. 

U. S., 202. yearly, 320-322. 

World, 287-291, 320. 
properties of, 270. 
storage of, in beets, 29, 30, 160. 
trade, first competition in, 8. 
use as medicine, 0. 
use confined to modem times, 0. 
value as a food, 279-283. 
wholesale prices monthly and 
yearly, 324. 
Sugar-beet : 
by-products, 168-183. 

composition of, 100, 182. 

importance of, 168. 
conditions for growing, 30-63. 

items included, 93. 

sample of, 96-100. 
diseases, 198-204. 
factories : 

early failures in U. S., 10-18. 

of America* 312. 

8ttgar>beet: — Continued 
factories: — ConHnued 

of the U. S. by states, 822. 
factors affecting sugar in, 31, 

first in U. 8., 10, 17. 
requirements for success, 62. 
flowering habits, 34. 
habit of growth, 23. 
early decline of, 12. 
encouraged by Napoleon, 11, 

favorable conditions for growth 

in Germany, 13, 16. 
first success in U. S., 19. 
fostered by Frederick the 

Great, 11. 
growth of. 12, 13, 16. 
recent developments, 20, 21. 
molasses as a by-product, 177- 

mosaic, 203. 
nematode, 196. 
peetB and diseases, 184-204. 

description of, 24, 26. 
elements essential to growth, 

growth and feeding habits, 
production : 
of U. S. yearly by states, 322. 
of world, 320. 
pulp, 108-170. 
dry, 109. 173. 
loss in siloing, 108. 
raising, personal requirements for, 


breeding, 221. 

harvesting and threshing, 227. 
importation, 210-219. 
production, 213-230. 
commercial, 223. 
of the U. 8., 210. 



Sugar-beet: — Continued 
seed: — ConHnued 

quality, indicatiozia of, 112. 

Bouroes of, 215. 

time to plant, 113. 

yield and profit, 229, 230. 
soil, selection of, 71. 
tops, 158-168. 

composition of, 159, 160. 

hay from, 162. 

methods of feeding, 161, 162. 

silage from, feeding of, 166-168. 

sUoing, 163-166. 
types of, 219. 
webworm, 190. 
Sugar-beets : 
and root tips, feeding of, 176. 
a profitable crop, 2. 
area raised in : 

different countries, 326. 

each state of U. S., 322. 
blocking and thinning, 117-122. 
botanical grouping, 22. 
bring national independence, 257. 
capital required to raise, 48. 
cash crop, 4. 

climatic adaptation, 37-43. 
conunercial fertiliser for, 77-81. 
cost of production, 231-249. 
early history of, 8. 
economic conditions for grow- 
ing, 44. 
effect of irrigation on, 137-144. 
farm manure for, 82. 
fit in with grain production, 4. 
furnish much stock feed, 4. 
help weed problem, 4. 
importance of stand to yield, 115. 
increase yield of other crops, 4. 
in U. S., first, 16. 
irrigation of, 126-144. 
labor problem of, 45. 
origin of, 22. 

plant food requirements of, 74. 
quaJity in, 205-212. 
relation to soil, 54, 55. 
rotations for, 88. 

Sugar-beets: — Continued 
soil adaptation, 43. 
stabilise agriculture, 251. 
time to plow for seed-bed, 106. 
transportation requirements, 49. 
water reqttirements, 131-133. 
yield per acre : 

different countries, 326. 

of states of U. S., 322. 
Sugar Bounty Act of 1890, favor- 
able effect, 19. 
Sugar-cane, 268-274. 
adaptation of, 270. 
cultural methods, 272. 
description and varieties, 269. 
extraction of sugar from, 274. 
harvestihg, 273. 

Brasil, 7. 

Cuba, 8. 

Cyprus, 7. 

Euphrates Valley, 7. 

Guadeloupe, 8. 

Island of San Domingo, 8. 

Louisiana, 8. 

Martinique, 8. 

Mexico, 8. 

Persia, 7. 

Sicily, 7. 

Spain, 7. 

"Hgris Valley, 7. 
introduced into Euroiw, 7. 
production of the world, 330. 
soils and manuring, 271. 
yield of, 274. 
Sunlight, effect on beet growing, 40. 
Sweet of beets first recorded by 
Oliver de Serres, 9. 

Taring beets at receiving station, 

Temperatiire adaptation of beets, 

Temperature of soil, 63. 
Texture of soils, 59, 60. 
Theophrastus on sugar, 7. 
Thermal adaptation of beets, 37.